Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Pneumococcal Vaccine: Rates of Pneumonia and Sinusitis Before, After Implementation

By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief 
Sneeze photo by Anna Gutermuth via Flickr

I don’t think many of us would argue with the benefits of the pneumococcal vaccine in reducing rates of pneumococcal bacteremia and sepsis—but what about other manifestations of this infection—i.e. pneumonia and sinusitis?

Lindstrand et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4177) performed a population-based study in Sweden of all hospitalizations pre- and post-introduction of the pneumococcal vaccines (PCV 7 and PCV 13) to look at hospitalizations for these two disorders. Their results are dramatic (in a very positive sense)!

If you had any doubt as to the effectiveness of immunizing against pneumococcus, this study being early released this week will do a “doubt-ectomy”—and hopefully not just for health care professionals but for families who may be less convinced about the need to vaccinate their children.

The study makes some sharp points about the reduction in hospitalizations that can be attributed to the administration of this vaccine—but read it for yourself and see what I mean.

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