We all know that the immunisation coverage in PNG is not to the level we want.
I thought I will share new data out from USA after the introduction of the PCV7 (vaccine for pneumonia) in 2000.
First the data in children under 5 years of age (data referenced from Medscape Education):
- Between 1998 & 1999 there were around 80 cases of pneumonia per 100 000 population in children under 5 years of age.
- PCV7 was introduced in 2000.
- From around 60 cases per 100 000 in 2007, there was a dramatic decrease to less than 5 cases of invasive pneumonia per 100 000 population.
- There was also 100% reduction in PC7 serotypes.
Now the data among adults aged 65 or more years of age. This is the interesting bit! The PCV7 vaccine was given to children under 5 years only, not in adults. Data referenced from Medscape Education.
- In 1998-1999 there were 34-35 cases of invasive pneumonia per 100 000 population.
- 2007 PCV introduced to children under 5 years of age.
- Between 2000-2007, there was a dramatic decrease in cases of invasive pneumonia in adults aged 65 years or more. In 2007 there were less than 5 cases per 100 population. Remember this group were not given this vaccine (PC7)!
- There was 92% reduction in PC7 serotypes.
What does this mean?
By introducing the vaccine in children, the increased coverage reduced PCV7 serotype circulating in the community. And as a result, it indirectly prevented invasive pneumonia in adults aged 65 years or more.
What can PNG learn from this?
- We need to give vaccines at every opportunity in every children following our national guidelines (instead of waiting for the MCH nurse or MCH clinics to do this!).
- We need to improve coverage so that other children who miss out and adults who are at risk are indirectly protected.