[Value of pneumococcal vaccination in infants and young children].Klin Padiatr. 2001 May-Jun; 213(3):109-13.KP
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common cause of meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, acute otitis media, and sinusitis in children. Children younger than 24 months have the highest rates of invasive pneumococcal infections (Germany 1997-1999: 19.5/100,000/year). Pneumococcal infections cause in Germany 220-250 cases of meningitis, about 50,000 of pneumonia (children younger than 5 years) and more than 1 million cases of otitis media (children) annually. The case-fatality rate for invasive pneumococcal diseases is high (1997-1999 5.5%, meningitis 8.3%). 20-30% of survivors from meningitis suffer from CNS-related sequelea. In children up to 2 years vaccination with the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine can reduce invasive pneumococcal diseases by about 80% and otitis media and recurrent otitis media by 6% and 9-16%, respectively. Due to the increased risk of pneumococcal infections in the first two years of live all children of this age group should be vaccinated. The high rate of resistance of pneumococci against macrolides in Germany, the high rate of non-licensed antibiotics in infants and the inefficacy of the 23-valent vaccine in children younger than 2 years makes the new vaccine to a necessary alternative.