Castiglia, Paolo Giuseppino (2014) Recommendations for pneumococcal immunization outside routine childhood immunization programs in Western Europe. Advance in therapy, Vol. 31 (10), p. 1011-1044. ISSN 0741-238X. eISSN 1865-8652. Article.
The global burden of pneumococcal diseases is high, with young children and adults ≥50 years of age at highest risk of infection. Two types of vaccine are available for the prevention of pneumococcal diseases caused by specific Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes: the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7, PCV10, and PCV13). Despite pneumococcal immunization programs in adults and children, the burden in adults has remained high. Most European countries have national or local/regional vaccination recommendations. The objective of this review was to provide an overview of the government recommendations for pneumococcal vaccination outside routine childhood vaccination programs for 16 Western European countries as of August 2014. We found that recommendations for pneumococcal immunization across Europe are complex and vary greatly among countries in terms of age groups and risk groups recommended for vaccination, as well as which vaccine should be administered. Clarifying or simplifying these recommendations and improving their dissemination could help to increase pneumococcal vaccine uptake and decrease the high burden of pneumococcal diseases in adults, both through a direct effect of the vaccine and via a herd effect in unvaccinated individuals.
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