A 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine licensed in the United States in 1983 replaces the 14-valent polysaccharide vaccine licensed in 1977. This statement contains new data about pneumococcal vaccine and its effectiveness that have become available since 1977 and new recommendations regarding its use in children.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the most common cause of acute otitis media, and it is a frequent cause of bacterial pneumonia, bacterial meningitis, and sinusitis in children. Pneumococcus is the most common cause of bacteremia in infants and children aged 1 to 24 months; some of these children with fever and bacteremia have no evidence of a primary focus of infection.
Mortality from pneumococcal disease is highest in patients who have bacteremia or meningitis and in patients with certain underlying medical conditions. Patients at increased risk of developing severe pneumococcal disease, because of impaired immunologic response to pneumococcus, are those with sickle cell anemia, Hodgkin disease, congenital or acquired immunodeficiency, nephrotic syndrome, and splenic dysfunction, and those who have had splenectomy or organ transplantation. Certain other patients also may be at greater risk of suffering severe pneumococcal infections, such as some patients with diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, chronic pulmonary disease, and renal failure. Patients with CSF leakage complicating skull fracture or neurosurgical procedure may have recurrent pneumococcal meningitis.
To date, 83 pneumococcal types have been identified by the serologic properties of their capsular polysaccharides. Certain of these polysaccharides share physicochemical and antigenic properties. Ten serotypes account for the majority of pneumococcal infections in children and adults.
- Copyright © 1985 by the American Academy of Pediatrics