Researchers of the University of Melbourne and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), Australia, have found that severe pneumonia decreases by 35 percent in children vaccinated against pneumonia-causing bacteria. The study presented at the 11th World Congress of the World Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases held in Manila last month found one in five hospital admissions for children under five years of age in Laos was because of pneumonia, with most requiring oxygen treatment. Laos was the first country in South-east Asia to introduce the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) into its national immunisation programme in 2013, which protects against 13 most common types of pneumococcus.
Researchers examined pneumococcus samples from the noses of healthy children and children suffering pneumonia. “By discovering that pneumonia causing bacteria is commonly carried at the back of the nose — both in healthy children and children suffering pneumonia — our study highlights it is likely to be a significant contributor to severe infections in Laos. Vaccinating children protects the whole community by reducing the spread of pneumococcus,” says Dr. Fiona Russell of MCRI.
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