The impact of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on the incidence of community-acquired alveolar pneumonia in premature compared with in term-born infants

Yaniv Faingelernt, Ron Dagan, Noga Givon-Lavi, Bart Adriaan van der Beek, Shalom Ben-Shimol, Eilon Shany, David Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Preterm-born children are prone to respiratory infections and complications during infancy and early childhood. In Israel, pneumococcal conjugated vaccines (PCVs) were introduced in 2009–2010, with high vaccination coverage. We assessed the impact of PCV implementation on community-acquired alveolar pneumonia (CAAP) in children < 2 years old born prematurely, in comparison with term born infants. Methods: We conducted a prospective, active, population-based surveillance of children < 2 years old with radiologically-proven CAAP, visiting the only regional medical center. CAAP incidence in the pre-PCV and post-PCV eras were compared in early premature (29–32 weeks gestational age [WGA]), late premature (33–36 WGA) and term-born infants (>36 WGA). Results: Of 214,947 births during the study period, 6'791 CAAP episodes were diagnosed; 211, 653 and 5,806 were in early premature, late premature and term infants, respectively. After PCV implementation, overall CAAP visits were reduced by 44% (95% CI 36–51): 60%, 21% and 45% among those born early preterm, late preterm and at term, respectively (statistically significant for children born early preterm and at term). For outpatients, the respective rate reductions were 79%, 40% and 65% (statistically significant for the children born at term). Importantly, the mean annual rates in the post-PCV period became similar in all 3 groups. The rate reductions among the hospitalized children were lower those that among the non-hospitalized children, with reductions of 56%, 16% and 33% for the three groups, respectively (statistically significant for early preterm and at term children). Conclusions: CAAP reduction trends after PCV implementation for preterm-born infants were similar to those for term-born infants. Whether this was because of similar direct PCV- protection, because of indirect (herd) protection or both, is unclear. Post-PCV implementation, the gaps in CAAP rates between infants born prematurely and at term were reduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-573
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2022


  • Community-acquired pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Pneumococcal vaccine
  • Premature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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