Population-level impact of infant 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination on adult pneumonia hospitalisations in Finland

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Limited data are available on population-level herd effects of infant 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV10) programmes on pneumonia. We assessed national trends in pneumococcal and all-cause pneumonia hospitalisations in adults aged ≥18 years, before and after infant PCV10 introduction in 2010.


Monthly hospitalisation rates of International Statistical Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10)-coded primary discharge diagnoses compatible with pneumonia from 2004–2005 to 2014–2015 were calculated with population denominators from the population register. Trends in pneumonia before and after PCV10 introduction were assessed with interrupted time-series analysis. Rates during the PCV10 period were estimated from adjusted negative binomial regression model and compared with those projected as continuation of the pre-PCV10 trend. All-cause hospitalisations were assessed for control purposes.


Before PCV10, the all-cause pneumonia rate in adults aged ≥18 years increased annually by 2.4%, followed by a 4.7% annual decline during the PCV10 period. In 2014–2015, the overall all-cause pneumonia hospitalisation rate was 109.3/100 000 (95% CI 96.5 to 121.9) or 15.4% lower than the expected rate. A significant 6.7% decline was seen in persons aged ≥65 years (131.5/100 000), which translates to 1456 fewer pneumonia hospitalisations annually. In comparison, hospitalisations other than pneumonia decreased by 3.5% annually throughout the entire study period.


These national data suggest that herd protection from infant PCV10 programme has reversed the increasing trend and substantially decreased all-cause pneumonia hospitalisations in adults, particularly the elderly.

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