Pneumococcal vaccination in children at risk of developing recurrent acute otitis media - a randomized study.Acta Paediatr 2011; 100(10):1354-8AP
Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common childhood disease, which often becomes recurrent (rAOM). A small reduction in AOM episodes has been noted in unselected child cohorts after vaccination with heptavalent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7). The purpose of this study was to investigate how vaccination affects young children at risk of developing rAOM.
Ninety-six children with an AOM onset before 6 months of age, implying a high risk for rAOM, were closely monitored until the age of 2 years. Forty-six were vaccinated with PCV7 and 50 were not. All episodes of AOM, emergency visits and ventilation tube insertions were registered.
A total of 363 AOM episodes were diagnosed. The incidence was reduced by 26% (p = 0.03), the number of emergency visits because of suspected AOM by 36% (p = 0.01) and the proportion of children who received ventilation tubes was halved in the vaccine group (p = 0.02).
During the first 2 years of life, PCV7 significantly reduced AOM episodes, emergency visits and ventilation tube insertions in children with rAOM. Pneumococcal vaccine may be a future route to reduce antibiotic use and health care consumption in otitis-prone children.