A pneumococcal vaccine is launched in Africa to cut child deathsBMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1075 (Published 15 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1075
All rapid responses
Rapid responses are electronic comments to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on bmj.com. A rapid response is first posted online. If you need the URL (web address) of an individual response, simply click on the response headline and copy the URL from the browser window. A proportion of responses will, after editing, be published online and in the print journal as letters, which are indexed in PubMed. Rapid responses are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles. The BMJ reserves the right to remove responses which are being wilfully misrepresented as published articles or when it is brought to our attention that a response spreads misinformation.
From March 2022, the word limit for rapid responses will be 600 words not including references and author details. We will no longer post responses that exceed this limit.
The word limit for letters selected from posted responses remains 300 words.
This is a great achievement, of a medical product being targeted,
appropriate to its requirement. Historically, new vaccines have always
faced lots of hurdles in reaching the unaffording population of the
developing countries. Some of these issues include effect of vaccine in
the country-specific epidemiology and population, shortcomings in
healthcare systems and advisory committees, logistics parameters like cold
chain maintenance, apart from the cost issue.
Pertaining to the developing countries, the common serotypes
responsible for pneumococcal infections are serotypes 1 and 5, known as
'developing country serotypes'. Similarly, the problem of globally
'emerging serotypes', particularly 19A (also 3 and 6A), may also affect
the developing countries, as antibiotic pressure and time-trends are
important determinants of serotype prevalence, apart from vaccine
pressure. In a recently presented India data (at the European Society of
Pediatric Infectious Disease 2011), these three serotypes accounted for
>44% of invasive pneumococcal disease isolates. The newer conjugate
vaccines with broader coverage against these serotypes, provides an
opportunity for broader protection, with a better coverage from the
developing country perspective.
Competing interests: Medical Advisor, Pfizer India
I work in a chain of privately run medical clinics in Kenya and the
acceptance and turnout for the Pneumococcal vacine is unprecedented. This
can only augur well as it will reduce pressure on actual case management
and mortality of the under fives, eventually improving overall mortality
rates. On behalf of the mothers and their children who may never know the
sacrifices developed countries do to the third world,I say a big thank
you. This indeed is a prime example of globalization of medicine.
Dr. MacDuff O. Ogwido
Competing interests: No competing interests