PRAGUE – In the Czech Republic, 400 cases of pneumonia are reported every year and 14% of the infected children under the age of fi ve die. Vaccination against pneumococcal disease would provide necessary protection to children. Pneumococcus causes pneumonia, encephalitis or barotitis. 16 countries of the EU have already introduced routine vaccination, which is now being considered in the Czech Republic.
Czech specialists engaged the international Pneumococcal Awareness Council of Experts (PACE) and tried to negotiate with the Ministry of Health for implementation of routine pneumococcal vaccination. Vulnerable groups are mainly small children under two years of age and elders. Serious pneumococcal diseases result in about 430 patients per year, and 14 per cent of infected children die.
Did you know that Czech children can receive vaccination against the treacherous pneumococcal infection from two months of age? A three year-old boy has recently died from it in our country. Pneumococcus often causes serious infections in various parts of the human body. They can be divided into serious invasive disease and non-invasive infections of the upper breathing apparatus (barotitis, nasal cavity infl ammations).
Pneumococcal disease is little known, but deadly to more young children worldwide, than AIDS, malaria and measles.
Orin Levine from the Bloomberg School of Public Health says the bacterial infection is a neglected and preventable child killer.