Purpose of review: Pneumococcal diseases (invasive diseases, pneumonia, otitis media, and sinusitis) are among the most frequent preventable infectious diseases carrying a very high morbidity and case fatality rate worldwide. Pneumococcal vaccination is a key element to reduce the global burden of the disease in children and adult population. Our aim is to discuss current knowledge of the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease and pneumococcal vaccines. Recent findings: After the introduction of conjugate vaccines (PCV7 and PCV13), rates of pneumococcal diseases because of vaccine serotypes have decreased considerably among children in the vaccine target and among nonvaccinated children and adults. Results of the Community-Acquired Pneumonia Immunization Trial in Adults demonstrated 45.6% efficacy of PCV13 against the first episode of pneumonia, 45% against first-episode nonbacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia, and 75% against the first episode of invasive pneumococcal diseases in adults older than 65 years. Recommendations for pneumococcal vaccination have changed recently in both the United States and Europe. Summary: The changing epidemiology of pneumococcal diseases should be closely investigated to assess the effectiveness and the usefulness of the current vaccination policies, and to identify future directions for preventing pneumococcal infections.
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