Commonly used pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines do not appear to be effective for preventing pneumonia, found a study by a team of researchers from Switzerland and the United Kingdom writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
In many industrialized countries, polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccines (PPVs) are currently recommended to help prevent pneumococcal disease in people aged 65 and over and for younger people with increased risk due to conditions like HIV. Studies have shown conflicting results regarding the efficacy of PPV.
The study, a systematic review and meta-analysis, looked at 22 clinical trials, reviews and meta-analyses and more than 100,000 participants from countries in North America as well as India, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Unlike other similar studies the authors examined the reasons why different clinical trials produced different results. They found that the quality of the studies substantially affected the results. When only high quality trials were included, there was no evidence that PPVs could prevent pneumonia. The study adds to the ongoing debate around effectiveness of the vaccine.
"Policy makers may therefore wish to reconsider their current recommendations for PPV, especially where routine pneumococcal conjugate immunization has been introduced," conclude Dr. Matthias Egger from the University of Bern, Switzerland and coauthors.
However, in a related commentary, Dr. Ross Andrews and coauthor from the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia state that the researchers' conclusions exceed the evidence presented. They caution that there should be no change in vaccine policy in countries that recommend PPV to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease.
Anke Huss, Pippa Scott, Andreas E. Stuck , Caroline Trotter, Matthias Egger, 'Efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination in adults:a meta-analysis', CMAJ JANUARY 6, 2009 180(1)
Ross Andrews, Sarah A. Moberley, 'The controversy over the efficacy of pneumococcal vaccine', CMAJ JANUARY 6, 2009 180(1)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Gravitational Waves? Watch the LIGO press conference at 10:30 Eastern.
- My Thoughts On The LIGO-VIRGO Result
- Henri Poincaré Predicted The Existence Of Gravitational Waves As Early As June 5, 1905
- Giddings: The 750 GeV Diphoton Resonance Is A Graviton
- The 10 catastrophic mistakes virtual reality firms are making
- LIGO, Gravitational Waves, And Laser Interferometry
- The Neuroscience Of Seeking Company
- "Sven, It may be just a trivial confirmation of GR, but we learned a critically important lesson..."
- "Hi Tommaso, looking forward to your analysis of their paper! In the talk they clearly did not provide..."
- "Please try to stay on subject. My criticism was of the weatherman and his unsubstantiated theories..."
- "There’s one thing puzzling me about the conclusions drawn from Figure 1 in this article. ..."
- "Tommaso, I partly share the same concerns, although their recently published paper states that..."
- Younger Breast Cancer Patients Increasingly Likely To Get BRCA Test
- EWG Verified: A New Way To Greenmail Food Companies
- A Cluttered Kitchen May Undo Your Diet
- Cotton Candy Cure for Future of Organ Transplants
- Walgreens ‘Selling to Heroin Users’? Yes, to Save Their Lives
- Age-Specific Dementia Rates Falling, While New Cases Rise