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Triptych of the Hermit Saints: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines for the elderly

Authors Rijkers GT, Yousif LIE, Spoorenberg SMC, van Overveld FJ

Received 26 October 2017

Accepted for publication 26 January 2018

Published 27 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 55—65

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S130405

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Kent Rondeau


Video abstract presented by Laura IE Yousif.

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Ger T Rijkers,1,2 Laura IE Yousif,1 Simone MC Spoorenberg,3 Frans J van Overveld1

1Department of Science, University College Roosevelt, Middelburg, the Netherlands; 2Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, St. Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands; 3Department of Internal Medicine, St Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands

Abstract: Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious disease with considerable morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Despite adequate antibiotic treatment, the long-term mortality of pneumococcal pneumonia remains high. Preventive measures in the form of vaccination, therefore, are warranted. Twenty-three-valent polysaccharide vaccines have a broad coverage but limited efficacy. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines have been shown in children to be able to prevent invasive and mucosal pneumococcal diseases. It should be realized that the serotype composition of current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines is not tailored for the elderly, and that replacement disease can occur. Yet, the current 13-valent conjugate vaccine has been shown to protect against infections with vaccine serotypes. Long-term mortality of pneumococcal pneumonia should be included in policy making about the introduction of these vaccines for the elderly.

Keywords: pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae, vaccination, elderly, conjugate vaccines, cost-effectiveness

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