The national epidemiological surveillance network (Renave) collects between 3,000 and 4,000 cases per year, the majority among children under five years of age.
The Balearic Islands Government Council has authorized the contracting of the supply of the 20-serotype conjugate vaccine against pneumococcus for the years 2023 and 2024, for an estimated value of 3.2 million euros, as explained at a press conference by the spokesman for the Executive, Antoni Costa. Pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) are a major health problem mainly associated with the existence of risk factors and also related to age. In Spain, in recent years, the national epidemiological surveillance network (Renave) collects between 3,000 and 4,000 cases per year and mainly affects children under five years of age and older people.
Vaccination is a fundamental tool to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease and, for this reason, in 2016 the vaccine was included in the children’s calendar. In the case of older people, the vaccine was already administered to people of risk groups and in 2018 the Public Health Commission approved the universal vaccination at age 65. In 2022, a new 20-serotype conjugate vaccine (VPC20) was authorized for the adult population, covering practically the same spectrum of pneumococcal serotypes as the previous ones. Consequently, there is now a tool that improves the effectiveness of the vaccines that had been available until now and, in terms of the groups most at risk due to underlying pathologies and institutionalized elderly people, it improves efficiency, since it reduces the cost of the vaccine and vaccination and increases protection.
Within this context, the General Directorate of Public Health and Participation approved the recommendation of the Balearic Islands Vaccine Advisory Committee to replace the previous vaccines with the new VPC20 vaccine in adult vaccination, both for systematic calendar vaccination and for risk groups. This indication could be extended, if the technical criteria make it recommendable, when the vaccine is authorized for all ages and if its use is compatible with the guidelines established for routine childhood vaccination.
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