Diseases

CDC walks back pneumonia vaccine recommendation for seniors

A box of Prevenar 13, a pneumonia vaccine made by Pfizer.
A European box of Pfizer's pneumococcal vaccine. Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images

In a narrow 8-6 vote today, a federal vaccine advisory panel shot down its 2014 recommendation that all adults 65 and older get a pneumococcal vaccine called Prevnar 13. Instead, the panel said seniors should get the vaccine based on conversations with their clinicians.

Why it matters: Seniors can still get the shot, but the vaccine won't be universally recommended — to the dismay of the vaccine makers. Pfizer sells Prevnar 13, and the drug company's stock shot down 2% once investors learned of the vote.

Heart disease roars back

A heart attack
Photo: RobinOlimb/Getty Images

Progress against heart disease has stalled, driving down life expectancy in the U.S. after decades in which each generation lived longer than the one that came before, The Wall Street Journal's Betsy McKay reports (subscription).

Why it matters, per WSJ: Cancer was set to take over as the nation's leading cause of death, and it was expected to do so by 2020. But now, heart disease is an "under-recognized contributor" to the decline in U.S. life expectancy.