A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the Prevnar 7-valent pneumococcal vaccine has prevented 168,000 pneumonia hospitalizations per year since it was introduced in the United States in 2000. The biggest beneficiaries have been adults age 85 and older and children under two years, with 73,000 and 47,000 hospitalizations per year, respectively, prevented by the vaccine. Researchers led by Dr. Marie Griffin of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville determined that the Prevnar vaccine prevented 12,000 deaths per year during the last 12 years, mainly in people age 75 and older, and it also has reduced the number of ear infections and outpatient visits. Griffin expects even bigger declines as a result of the Prevnar 13 vaccine, which was introduced in 2010 and covers another six pneumonia strains.
Copyright © 2014 Information, Inc.