Pneumococcal Vaccine and PneumoniaThe Question: Does vaccination with the pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7) reduce hospitalizations for community-acquired pneumonia?

The Study: Uruguay began vaccinating children with the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugated vaccine (PCV7) and in 2010 changed to the 10-valent vaccine (PCV10). Pneumococcus is a bacterium that often causes pneumonia. “7 valent” means the vaccine is effective against seven strains of the bacteria, and 10 valent is effective against an additional 3 strains.

The researchers calculated the hospitalization rate for children newborn to fourteen years old for any community-acquired pneumonia. This included both bacterial and viral pneumonia affecting children not in the hospital.

The Results: The results were stunning. Comparing pre-vaccine years to post-vaccine years, the hospitalization rate for any community-acquired pneumonia fell by 78% and for pneumococcal pneumonia by 92%.

Comment: Pneumonia is a one of the most frequent causes of death of children under five years old. Vaccinations, while not perfect, do work. They save lives and lessen the chances of hospitalizations.

Read More: The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 07/14

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From issue: 29/11-12