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Impact of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on the incidence of childhood pneumonia

  • M. A. ELEMRAID (a1) (a2), S. P. RUSHTON (a3), M. D. F. SHIRLEY (a3), M. F. THOMAS (a3) (a4), D. A. SPENCER (a4), K. M. EASTHAM (a5), F. HAMPTON (a6), R. GORTON (a7), K. POLLARD (a1), A. R. GENNERY (a1) (a2) and J. E. CLARK (a1) (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 19 October 2012

In September 2006, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was added to the UK immunization programme. We aimed to evaluate the impact of PCV7 on the incidence of all-cause community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in children. A prospective survey was undertaken in 2008–2009 at 11 hospitals in North East England of children aged 0–16 years with radiologically confirmed pneumonia. Data were compared to those from a similar survey undertaken in the same hospitals in 2001–2002. A total of 542 children were enrolled, of which 74% were aged <5 years. PCV7 uptake was 90·7%. The incidence of pneumonia was 11·8/10 000 [95% confidence interval (CI) 10·9–12·9], and the hospitalization rate was 9·9/10 000 (95% CI 9·0–10·9). Compared to 2001, there was a 19% (95% CI 8–29) reduction in the rate of CAP in those aged <5 years, and in those <2 years a 33·1% (95% CI 20–45) reduction in the incidence of CAP and 38·1% (95% CI 24–50) reduction in hospitalization rates. However, for those unvaccinated aged ⩾5 years, there was no difference in the incidence of CAP and hospitalization rate between both surveys. Since 2001, the overall reduction in incidence was 17·7% (95% CI 8–26) and for hospitalization 18·5% (95% CI 8–28). For the <5 years age group there was a lower incidence of CAP in PCV7-vaccinated children (25·2/10 000, 95% CI 22·6–28·2) than in those that were not vaccinated (37·4/10 000, 95% CI 29·2–47·1). In conclusion, PCV7 has reduced both incidence and rate of hospitalization of pneumonia in children, particularly in the <2 years age group.

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*Author for correspondence: Dr M. A. Elemraid, Great North Children's Hospital, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK. (Email:
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