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Il Giornale della Vaccinazione 2019 Gennaio/Giugno;11(1):17-20

language: Italian

WHO position paper 2019 on the prevention of pneumococcal diseases in children

Elisabetta FRANCO

Dipartimento di Biomedicina e Prevenzione, Università Tor Vergata, Roma, Italia


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Streptococcus pneumoniae or Pneumococcus infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. Among the more than 90 pneumococcal serotypes, some are recognized as the main agents of invasive disease in children; the availability of conjugated pneumococcal vaccines can help to reduce the impact of these serious infections. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a position paper on the use of conjugated pneumococcal vaccines ten (PCV10) and thirteen valent (PCV13) in children up to five years of age. Both vaccines contain the capsular polysaccharides of 10 pneumococcal serotypes responsible for over 70% of invasive infections in children, PCV13 contains the antigens of three additional serotypes and generally induces higher antibody titers. A direct comparison study concludes that both vaccines are safe and immunogenic, a comparison in similar areas shows no difference in impact but other data indicate greater protection induced by PCV13. Based on the fact that both vaccines are safe, immunogenic and effective, WHO does not express preferences for one or the other vaccine. The document concludes that the choice must be made at the local level considering the organizational characteristics, availability and price of the vaccine and the prevalence in the area of the serotypes contained in the vaccine with the relative antibiotic resistance.


KEY WORDS: Pneumococcal infections; Pneumococcal vaccines; Health planning guidelines

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