J. Pekka Nuorti, MD, Medical Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and co-author of the study, opined that the different outcomes in the Tennessee group versus the New York group may reflect differences in vaccination coverage or prevalence of risk factors for pneumococcal disease in each group.
Explore This IssueAugust 2007
Due to discrepancies in the reporting and diagnosing by health care professionals, the authors were not able to compare the results for individual children who received the PCV7 vaccine with results for those who did not. However, there has been an overall increase nationally between 1998 and 2002 in the number of children under the age of two who received the vaccine. It is also believed that unvaccinated and undervaccinated children receive some indirect benefit by decreased carriage of the S. pneumoniae bacteria by children who have been fully vaccinated.
The study concluded that following the introduction of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in 2000 children were less likely to develop frequent otitis media or have PET insertions. The authors cautioned that further study and monitoring should be conducted to determine whether the findings will continue or whether they will wane.
Dr. Nuorti summarized the importance of this study: These are the first data to show a longitudinal look at what happens when this vaccine is used in a population. It emphasizes that some of the important effects of a vaccine can only be seen through routine wide-scale use.
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine: What You Need to Know. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Available at www.cdc.gov/Nip/publications/VIX/vis-PneumoConjugate.pdf . (Accessed April 29, 2007.)
- Preventing Pneumococcal Disease Among Infants and Young Children: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4909a1.htm . (Accessed April 29, 2007.)
- Prevnar Web site: http://prevnar.com/pro_index.asp. (Accessed April 11, 2007.)
- Poehling KA, Szilagyi PG, Grijalva CG, et al. Reduction of frequent otitis media and pressure-equalizing tube insertions in children after introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Pediatrics 2007;119:707-15.
©2007 The Triological Society