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Vaccine greatly reduces invasive pneumococcal disease in USA

62,000 cases prevented among American children between 2000 and 2005

OnMedica Staff

Monday, 18 February 2008

Since the 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine was introduced in the USA in 2000, roughly 62,000 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease were prevented among young children as of 2005, researchers state in this week's issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Beginning in October 2000, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the vaccine for all children younger than 2 years of age and for older children with risk factors for invasive pneumococcal disease.

To determine the impact of continued vaccine use on invasive pneumococcal disease rates, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and elsewhere analyzed laboratory and population-based surveillance data obtained from eight US states.

In 2005, overall invasive pneumococcal disease rates among children younger than 5 years were 77% lower than those seen before the vaccine was introduced in 1998 and 1999. This translates into about 13,000 fewer invasive pneumococcal disease cases with use of the vaccine.

Invasive pneumococcal disease cases due to pneumococcal serotypes included in the vaccine continued to fall through 2005, but the overall invasive pneumococcal disease rate levelled off starting in 2002, largely due to an increase in cases caused by serotype 19A, which is not covered by the 7-valent vaccine.

"Given these trends, use of expanded-valency conjugate vaccines might further reduce invasive pneumococcal disease incidence," the investigators conclude. "Continued surveillance is needed to guide development of future formulations of conjugate vaccines and to monitor the effects of continued vaccine use."

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report is prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an agency of the US Department of Health and Social Services.

Reuters

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