Printer Friendly

Prevenar--pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Pneumococcal disease, which can cause meningitis, pneumonia, bacteraemia and sepsis, affects at least 349 per 100 000 children < 12 months old and 130 per 100 000 children younger than 5 years of age in South Africa. Are we doing all we can to protect our children? A new World Health Organization (WHO) policy recently published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record supports the inclusion of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in national immunisation programmes around the world in view of the demonstrated vaccine efficacy and high disease burden. This recommendation was developed based on epidemiological and vaccine impact data from several different settings around the world.

While Prevenar (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, 7 valent), the first and only pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to help protect infants and toddlers against the disease, is already available in South Africa, the majority of children are not being routinely protected against the potentially devastating consequences of the disease owing to it not currently being included in the national childhood immunisation programme.

Routine vaccination would not only help to reduce disease burden, but could also help to reduce public health costs. A recent pharmacoeconomic evaluation found that routine use of Prevenar in the USA not only helps prevent deaths from pneumococcal disease, but also reduces associated health care costs for patients and payers. This evaluation included both direct effect on routinely immunised children as well as indirect benefits for unvaccinated adults.

Adoption of the WHO policy in South Africa, in addition to broader adoption around the world, has the potential to save millions of children's lives and is a vital step towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

Enquiries: Dr Nini Ramasamy, Medical Director Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, tel (011) 655-2600. References available on request.
COPYRIGHT 2007 South African Medical Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Pulse: The heartbeat of the marketplace
Publication:CME: Your SA Journal of CPD
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2007
Previous Article:Prostate cancer in African men.
Next Article:Mouthulcer and LipRevive cold sore capsules.

Related Articles
Pneumococcal vaccine.
Avoiding the nightmare of drug-resistant pneumococcal pneumonia.
Pneumococcal vaccine: underuse cannot be justified.
Pneumonia Vaccine--Don't Leave Home Without It.
Effectiveness of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for preschool-age children with chronic disease.
Rare systemic dermatologic reaction after pneumococcal vaccine administration. (Case Report).
Pneumococcal disease: is it still a threat?
Pneumococcal disease--a significant concern to children's health worldwide.
International Circumpolar Surveillance System for invasive pneumococcal disease, 1999-2005.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2015 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters