Global Pneumococcal Disease and Vaccine
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Streptococcus pneumoniae kills close to half a million children under 5 years old worldwide every year. Most of these deaths occur in developing countries.
S. pneumoniae is the leading cause of pneumonia mortality globally. It accounted for more deaths than all other causes (etiologies) combined in 2016.1 Most of these deaths occur in countries in Africa and Asia.
In 2007, a WHO position paperpdf iconexternal icon recommended all countries include pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in the routine infant immunization schedule. WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization recommends either currently available PCV formulation: 10- or 13-valent PCV.
Countries that introduced PCV have observed large reductions in severe (invasive) pneumococcal disease and pneumonia. As of March 2020, 146 countries out of 194 WHO member states have introduced PCV into their National Immunization Program either nationally or sub-nationally. High-income countries were the early adopters of PCV. With the support from Gavi, The Vaccine Allianceexternal icon, many low-income countries have been able to introduce PCV into their national immunization program. Of the 73 Gavi-eligible countries, 60 (82%) introduced PCV. Despite this progress, 55% (approximately 74 million) of the global infant population are still not receiving PCV.2
1 GBD 2016 Lower Respiratory Infections Collaborators. Estimates of the global, regional, and national morbidity, mortality, and aetiologies of lower respiratory infections in 195 countries, 1990-2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016external icon. Lancet Infect Dis. 2018 Sep 19. pii: S1473-3099(18)30310-4. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(18)30310-4.
2 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC). View-hub report: Global vaccine introduction and Implementation, March 2019pdf iconexternal icon.
CDC works in collaboration with WHO, Ministries of Health, and other international partners on pneumococcal activities. These partners help to strengthen surveillance and laboratory capacity to describe disease burden and monitor emergence of non-vaccine serotypes. Additional efforts include conducting PCV impact evaluations to inform and sustain the use of PCV globally.
- CDC Traveler’s Health: Pneumococcal Disease
- Integrated Global Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Pneumonia and Diarrheaexternal icon: Ending Preventable Child Deaths from Pneumonia and Diarrhea by 2025
- Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report: 2018external icon
- WHO Position Paper on Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in Young Childrenpdf iconexternal icon
- The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunizationexternal icon, WHO
- View-Hub Report: Global Vaccine Introduction and Implementation, March 2019pdf iconexternal icon.
- GAVI, the Vaccine Allianceexternal icon. This partnership combines public and private sector resources to bring the benefits of immunization to children in greatest need.
- Pneumococcal Meningitis Outbreaks in sub-Saharan Africaexternal icon. Countries in the African Meningitis Belt reported pneumococcal meningitis outbreaks after pneumococcal conjugate vaccine introduction. WHO published a fact sheet in June 2016 on the diagnosis and treatment of pneumococcal meningitis.