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New study suggests potential shift in burden of pneumococcal disease
Date:3/5/2013

Sao Paulo, Brazil - March 5, 2013 New studies revealed today by Latin American researchers and global health leaders suggest that the highest burden of deadly pneumococcal disease in Latin America may be shifting to adults as countries successfully immunize more infants with new vaccines. The experts called for increased disease monitoring and more surveillance to understand the full extent of pneumococcal disease in the Americas, including its economic impact, and to devise effective strategies to prevent it.

This research was coordinated by the Sabin Vaccine Institute in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University (JHU's IVAC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These results are being presented as part of a two-day symposium that brought together scientists and health leaders to review the pneumococcal situation in the region and discuss the challenges and opportunities of vaccination in older children and adult populations

The recent studies that are available in the Latin American and Caribbean context indicate that the cost of illness is an important and significant economic burden, suggesting that more use of pneumococcal vaccines could be cost-effective in adults, said Dr. Fernando de la Hoz, a member of the Medical Faculty at the National University of Colombia and lead author of the study. Further research is needed in order for health officials to fully grasp the potential impact of immunizing older populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. We know now that the vaccine is saving the lives of thousands of our regions youngest citizens. The question is whether we should also be protecting their parents and grandparents.

The study found that direct medical costs to treat bacteremic pneumonia ranged from USD $993 to USD $3,535 per person, and the cost of treatment for bacteremic meningitis was as high as USD $4,490 for elde
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Contact: Johanna Harvey
johanna.harvey@sabin.org
202-621-1691
Sabin Vaccine Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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