Vaccine Reduces Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in Children

February 18, 2008

Introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine has reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children, and use of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine is increasing in low-income countries, according to two reports published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine has reduced the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children, and use of the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine is increasing in low-income countries, according to two reports published in the Feb. 15 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Arthur Reingold, M.D., of the California Emerging Infections Program in Oakland, Calif., and colleagues studied CDC surveillance data from eight states to determine the impact of the introduction of 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in 2000 on rates of invasive pneumococcal disease in U.S. children. By 2005, the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease in children under age 5 was 77 percent lower than the years preceding vaccine introduction.

In a second report, World Health Organization researchers in Geneva, Switzerland, and colleagues describe a project initiated by the GAVI Alliance in 2000 to expand use of the Hib vaccine in the world's poorest countries. As a result of the program, between 2004 and 2007, the proportion of low-income countries already using or approved to use the Hib vaccine increased from 18 percent to 65 percent.

"In many…countries, Hib is a leading cause of severe childhood pneumonia and often deadly meningitis," commented Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "Thanks to a focused, collaborative effort, each year a greater number of children are getting vaccinated, and thus being protected against a very real and severe health threat."

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