BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE:

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of pneumonia and sinusitis. Pneumonia kills >1 million children annually, and sinusitis is a potentially serious pediatric disease that increases the risk of orbital and intracranial complications. Although pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is effective against invasive pneumococcal disease, its effectiveness against pneumonia is less consistent, and its effect on sinusitis is not known. We compared hospitalization rates due to sinusitis, pneumonia, and empyema before and after sequential introduction of PCV7 and PCV13.

METHOD:

All children 0 to <18 years old hospitalized for sinusitis, pneumonia, or empyema in Stockholm County, Sweden, from 2003 to 2012 were included in a population-based study of hospital registry data on hospitalizations due to sinusitis, pneumonia, or empyema. Trend analysis, incidence rates, and rate ratios (RRs) were calculated comparing July 2003 to June 2007 with July 2008 to June 2012, excluding the year of PCV7 introduction.

RESULTS:

Hospitalizations for sinusitis decreased significantly in children aged 0 to <2 years, from 70 to 24 cases per 100 000 population (RR = 0.34, P < .001). Hospitalizations for pneumonia decreased significantly in children aged 0 to <2 years, from 450 to 366 per 100 000 population (RR = 0.81, P < .001) and in those aged 2 to <5 years from 250 to 212 per 100 000 population (RR = 0.85, P = .002). Hospitalization for empyema increased nonsignificantly. Trend analyses showed increasing hospitalization for pneumonia in children 0 to <2 years before intervention and confirmed a decrease in hospitalizations for sinusitis and pneumonia in children aged 0 to <5 years after intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

PCV7 and PCV13 vaccination led to a 66% lower risk of hospitalization for sinusitis and 19% lower risk of hospitalization for pneumonia in children aged 0 to <2 years, in a comparison of 4 years before and 4 years after vaccine introduction.

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