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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2015 Jan;34(1):19-31. doi: 10.1007/s10096-014-2208-6. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Pneumococcal vaccination: what have we learnt so far and what can we expect in the future?

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Servei de Pneumologia, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERes), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, India.
Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.
National Medicines Institute, Warsaw, Poland.
Department of Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine, CHU de Liège/University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.
Pfizer Vaccines (Medical Development Group and Scientific Affairs), Paris, France.
Klinic für Pneumologie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Germany.


Individuals <2 years and ≥ 50 years of age, as well as those with other specific risk factors, are especially vulnerable to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Conjugate vaccines have been developed against encapsulated bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae to provide improved immune responses. The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) has significantly reduced the burden of vaccine-type pneumococcal diseases in children, including invasive disease and pneumonia and acute otitis media. There have also been significant declines in antimicrobial resistance in 7-valent vaccine serotypes and carriage of S. pneumoniae in the post-PCV7 era. Two to three years after the introduction of PCV13, there is emerging, global evidence of a reduced burden of pneumococcal diseases in children, including declines in IPD (UK and Germany) and nasopharyngeal carriage of PCV13 serotypes (Portugal and France). The functional immunogenicity of PCV13 in individuals ≥ 50 years of age has been demonstrated in clinical trials in comparison with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and for children and adults 6 to 49 years of age. Between 2011 and 2013, PCV13 received market authorisation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for these additional age groups and is now available in Europe for the prevention of pneumococcal disease in all age groups.

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