, Volume 177, Issue 3, pp 225-231
Date: 27 Jun 2008

Invasive pneumococcal disease in children in Ireland—the anticipated benefit of conjugate pneumococcal vaccination

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Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important cause of childhood illness. Recently a safe and effective 7-valent conjugate pneumococcal vaccine for children has been licensed in the EU.


To calculate the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in children in Ireland, to estimate the burden of disease and to anticipate the protective effect of the conjugate vaccine.


Retrospective review of data from children with IPD.


Ninety-six cases of IPD in 95 children including two related deaths were identified. All childhood IPD incidence was estimated at 10.6/100,000. We anticipate that the 7-valent conjugate vaccine could prevent up to 90% of sepsis and up to 82.5% of meningitis cases.


IPD is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in children in Ireland. Routine use of conjugate pneumococcal vaccine would have a significant impact on pneumococcal disease, especially in vaccinated children but also in unvaccinated children and older adults.

Prior to publication, data from this study was made available to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) in Ireland. These data contributed to the decision by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee to recommend the introduction of an universal childhood pneumococcal vaccination programme. This is currently expected to commence in September 2008.