Drop in pneumonia cases linked to increase in vaccinations

A decline in English children’s pneumonia has been linked to increased levels of vaccination.

The findings, first noted in in the online journal Thorax, revealed that the rates of pneumonia among children in England decreased 20 percent in the two years after the vaccine was introduced, MedpageToday.com reports.

Empyema hospitalization numbers also declined 22 percent, the study revealed.
The findings mirror similar results in the United States, where the occurrence of pneumonia among children under the ages of two fell by 40 percent between 2000 and 2004, after the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV7 was introduced.
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects against most of the serotypes that cause bacterial pneumonia in children, according to MedpageToday.com.

"The success of any vaccination program depends on vaccinating as many people as possible," Sonia Saxena, of the Imperial College of London, said in a statement, MedpageToday.com reports. "Now that we have clear evidence about the benefits of pneumonia vaccine, we hope more parents will be encouraged to have their children vaccinated in the future."
In recent years, the British government has experimented with different vaccine strains to various results. In one test, the rate of decline proved only half of what was experienced by researchers in the United Sates. Experts attributed this anomaly to the different lengths of the study - two years in England and four years in the United States.
Pneumonia is a common illness that can be caused by bacteria viruses, and even fungi. Risk factors that increase one’s chance of getting pneumonia include weakened immune systems and recent surgery or trauma.