Current issues regarding the use of pneumococcal conjugate and polysaccharide vaccines in Australian children

Grant Mackenzie, Jonathan Carapetis, Peter Morris, Amanda Leach

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: To present the results of child pneumococcal vaccination studies in the setting of current Australian disease epidemiology and immunization policy, and issues that clinicians should consider in discussions with families. Methods: This paper includes a narrative review of randomized, controlled, double blind studies and systematic reviews which evaluated the efficacy of child pneumococcal vaccination. Results: 7PCV is expected to prevent >80% of childhood invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD, includes meningitis, septicaemia/bacteraemia) and the associated mortality. 7PCV may prevent 6% of all pneumonia, 18% of radiographically-defined pneumonia, 6% of all otitis media (OM) and 20%-40% of tympanostomy tube procedures. It may also reduce IPD due to antibiotic-resistant pneumococci, and prevent IPD in unvaccinated individuals. The impact of replacement disease caused by non-vaccine serotypes is not yet known. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines given to 2-year-old children may prevent approximately 19% of all and 26% of recurrent OM. Conclusion: The Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule recommends universal infant immunization with seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (7PCV). Universal infant 7PCV will prevent pneumococcal diseases and deaths. The potential for its impact to be reduced in the long-term by serotype replacement must be closely monitored. Information concerning disease epidemiology, vaccine efficacy and safety, disease risk perception and national costs may prove useful in discussions with families.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-208
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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