In 2017 Poland introduced 10-valent pneumococcal vaccine in the immunization schedule
In 2017, Poland introduced pneumococcal conjugated vaccine (PCV) in the immunization schedule. Starting from now, all children will receive three doses of PCV-10 vaccine using the schedule 2-4-13 months, the cost of the vaccine being refunded by the state. This decision was made following almost a decade of recommended (free of charge) use of the vaccine among high risk groups only. All children could receive the vaccine, but its cost was covered by parents.
Following a call for tender, a 10-valent vaccine, protecting against the most common bacterial serotypes was selected for universal, free of charge, vaccination. Additionally, children born before 1st January, 2017 who belong to high-risk groups, ie. children with chronic diseases, immune deficiency, premature babies, receive a 13-valent PCV free of charge. During the previous decade, PCV was recommended to all children (for fee) and given free of charge to the above-mentioned high-risk groups. Poland was one of the last countries in Europe to introduce free-of-charge, universal vaccinations against invasive pneumococcal disease.
Invasive pneumococcal disease is an acute infectious disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. The bacteria are often present in the nasopharynx of healthy children (so-called carriers) and therefore can easily spread to other children and older people with chronic diseases, which are at highest danger. The disease places a considerable burden to the society, being a common cause of pneumonia, internal ear infection, as well as serious, life-threatening invasive infections, like meningitis and sepsis.
The success of vaccination was well documented in the city of Kielce, where all children received the vaccine free of charge since 2006. As the result of this project, a major decrease in the number of notified cases of invasive pneumococcal disease was observed, as well as decrease of all-cause bacterial pneumonia among children and adults.