Global Pneumococcal Disease and Vaccination

CDC and partners work to

  • Strengthen surveillance and laboratory capacity to describe the global burden of pneumococcal disease
  • Monitor emergence of non-vaccine serotypes
  • Conduct vaccine impact evaluations to inform and sustain the use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines globally

Global pneumococcal disease

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that Streptococcus pneumoniae kills more than 300,000 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. Most of these deaths occur in countries in Africa and Asia.

Pneumococcal vaccine use globally

In 2007, a WHO position paper recommended all countries include pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in their routine infant immunization schedule. WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization recommends either PCV formulation currently available for children: 10- or 13-valent PCV.

Countries that introduced PCV have observed large reductions in severe (invasive) pneumococcal disease and pneumonia. As of the end of 2020, 148 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 Alliance, 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. Approximately 51% of the global infant population have not received a complete pneumococcal vaccine series.

CDC global activities with pneumococcus

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.

Global pneumococcus resources

Related Resource