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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Efficacy of nine-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine against pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease in The Gambia: randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
F. T. Cutts, S. M. A. Zaman, The Lancet, 3-30-05

The researchers note that “Pneumonia causes an estimated 19% of the 10 million childhood deaths worldwide. Up to half of all cases of severe childhood pneumonia are caused by pneumococcus in developing countries.” This study, a large double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Eastern Gambia tested pneumococcal conjugate vaccine against placebo and found that

…333 of 8189 children given vaccine had an episode of radiological pneumonia compared with 513 of 8151 who received placebo. Pneumococcal vaccine efficacy was 37% (95% CI 27–45) against first episode of radiological pneumonia. First episodes of clinical pneumonia were reduced overall by 7% (95% CI 1–12). Efficacy of the conjugate vaccine was 77% (51–90) against invasive pneumococcal disease caused by vaccine serotypes, 50% (21–69) against disease caused by all serotypes, and 15% (7–21) against all-cause admissions. We also found an efficacy of 16% (3–28) against mortality. 110 serious adverse events arose in children given the pneumococcal vaccine compared with 131 in those who received placebo.

The researchers concluded that

In this rural African setting, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has high efficacy against radiological pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease, and can substantially reduce admissions and improve child survival. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines should be made available to African infants.


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