PCV13 program reduced pneumonia hospitalizations, ambulatory visits
There were lower rates of hospitalizations and ambulatory visits for pneumonia among children after the first 2 years of a 13-valent immunization program in Nicaragua, according to recent study findings published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH, of the department of family medicine at the University North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, and colleagues evaluated rates of pneumonia hospitalization, ambulatory visits for pneumonia and infant mortality during the pre-vaccine (2008-2010) and vaccine (2011-2012) periods to determine the effect of PCV13 (Prevnar 13, Pfizer).
During the pre-vaccine period, there were 1,578 pneumonia hospitalizations among infants and 602 among children aged 1 year compared with 716 pneumonia hospitalization among infants and 296 among children aged 1 year during the vaccine period.
During the pre-vaccine period, there were 12,301 ambulatory visits for pneumonia among infants and 10,441 for children aged 1 year compared with 7,291 ambulatory visits for pneumonia among infants and 5,817 among children aged 1 year during the vaccine period.
Infant deaths were also more common during the pre-vaccine period (n=339) compared with the vaccine period (n=155).“In summary, the findings of this post-licensure study support WHO recommendations to introduce PCVs to protect children from pneumonia,” the researchers wrote. “PCV immunization programs may also assist developing nations in the successful attainment of Millennium Development Goal Four, the reduction of infant mortality. Public health policymakers in other developing countries, especially those eligible for GAVI support, should work toward providing PCVs to their pediatric populations.”
Disclosure: The study was funded in part by the Investigator-Initiated Research Program, Pfizer Inc. Two researchers report financial ties with Merck and Pfizer. One researcher reports financial ties with Becton Dickinson, bioMérieux and Novartis Diagnostics.
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