Seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines for developing countries

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Protein conjugate bacterial vaccines for invasive pneumococcal diseases have revolutionized the epidemiology of invasive bacterial disease in young children in most of the developed world, but only a small proportion of children at greatest risk of dying from this disease are vaccinated in less developed countries. Pneumococcal disease kills more children than any other illness - more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. While the noble effort of international agencies to promote the use of pneumococcal vaccines is commendable, studies from several developing countries have failed to recognize invasive pneumococcal disease as a major problem. Thus, even at considerably subsidized vaccine pricing, this failure to recognize the pneumococcal disease burden will deter the introduction of vaccine programs in areas where it is most needed. This lack of awareness creates an impassé for the acceptance of a 'solution'. Whether this absence of evidence is real or simply misleading deserves further urgent evaluation. Such an evaluation could propose the use of the vaccine as a 'probe' for defining the problem. In settings where disease burden is likely to be highest, disease surveillance is nonexistent, childhood immunization programs are fractured or nonexistent, and there is no system to ensure delivery, even if the vaccine is offered free of charge. Ongoing challenges with global polio eradication programs suggest that, critical to the success of any immunization program, is investment in setting up credible disease surveillance systems for vaccine preventable diseases to generate local or regional disease burden data. This will promote local ownership of any immunization programs and reveal myths about a 'hidden agenda' by foreign vaccine manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1061
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Resource-poor setting
  • Vaccination program design
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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