The protective efficacy of polyvalent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

The New England Journal of Medicine
E D ShapiroJ D Clemens

Abstract

Although the protective efficacy of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine has been demonstrated in randomized trials in young African gold miners, there has been controversy about its efficacy in older Americans at risk for serious pneumococcal infections. To assess the vaccine's protective efficacy against invasive pneumococcal infections, we conducted a hospital-based case-control study of the efficacy of pneumococcal vaccine in adults with a condition recognized to be an indication for receiving the vaccine. From 1984 to 1990, adults in whom Streptococcus pneumoniae was isolated from any normally sterile site were identified by prospective surveillance in the microbiology laboratories of 11 large hospitals; those with an indication for pneumococcal vaccine were enrolled as case patients. For each case patient, one control was matched according to age, underlying illness, and site of hospitalization. We contacted all providers of medical care to ascertain each subject's history of immunization with pneumococcal vaccine. Isolates of S. pneumoniae were serotyped by an investigator unaware of the subject's vaccination history. Thirteen percent of the 1,054 case patients and 20 percent of the 1,054 matched controls had received pne...Continue Reading

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