The use of the pneumococcal 7-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV7 [Prevnar], Wyeth Lederle Vaccines), and the impact it is likely to have on pneumococcal disease are reviewed. Pneumococcal disease in infants and young children is a major health care burden, and the increase in antibiotic resistance among pneumococci has complicated disease management. The 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccines do not protect infants and children younger than 2 years of age. PCV7 is effective in this population and should dramatically reduce the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease and have an impact on the incidence of infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes present in the vaccine. Research has shown that pneumococcal conjugate vaccines reduce nasopharyngeal carriage of vaccine serotype S. pneumoniae, including antibiotic-resistant strains. Routine immunization is expected to substantially reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with invasive pneumococcal disease in children, and coupled with expected herd immunity and decreased antibiotic selective pressure, it should have a positive impact beyond the immunized population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health