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September 4, 2013

Optimizing the Use of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Globally

Author Affiliations
  • 1International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA. 2013;310(9):911-913. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.228062

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) was first licensed in 2000 as a 7-valent product and is now available as 10- and 13-valent products (PCV10 and PCV13). As recommended by the World Health Organization,1 PCVs are now in routine use in more than 95 of 194 countries globally, including use in 27 GAVI Alliance–eligible countries and approval for use in an additional 24 such countries.2 Financial investments by individual countries and the international community, through the GAVI Alliance, are ensuring the sustainable availability of PCV in the places where it is most needed—the poorest countries where children have a substantial risk of serious illness and death from pneumococcal disease. In 2008, more than 500 000 children under 5 years died from pneumococcal disease.3 This mortality and the larger burden of serious morbidity, mostly from pneumococcal pneumonia,4 is the focus of PCV programs.