Streptococcus pneumoniae infection may result in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), such as bacteremia, meningitis and bacteremic pneumonia, or in non-IPD, such as pneumonia, sinusitis and otitis media. In June 2001, a heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) (Prevnar, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Canada) was approved for use in children in Canada. The objective of the present paper is to review S pneumoniae-induced disease incidence and vaccine recommendations in Canadian infants and children younger than five years of age. Particular attention is given to the expected benefits of vaccination in Canada based on postmarketing data and economic modelling.
Searches were performed on PubMed and Web of Science databases and specific Canadian journals using the key words 'pneumococc*', 'vaccine', 'conjugate', 'infant' and 'Canadian'.
Results and Discussion
PCV7 appears to be safe and effective against IPD and non-IPD in children younger than five years of age and, more importantly, in children younger than two years of age (who are at highest risk for IPD). An examination of postmarketing data showed a reduction in incidence of pneumococcal disease in age groups that were vaccinated and in older age groups, indicating the likelihood of herd protection. Concurrently, there was a reduction in the occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant isolates.
The results from the present review suggest that PCV7 is currently benefiting Canadian children and society by lowering S pneumoniae-associated disease. Additional gains from herd protection and further reductions in antimicrobial resistance will be achieved as more Canadian children younger than five years of age are routinely vaccinated with PCV7.