Get Vaccinated for Streptococcus pneumoniae

Get Vaccinated for Streptococcus pneumoniae!
Aliesha Madsen
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of worldwide illness and death for young children, persons with underlying medical conditions, and the elderly (1). S. pneumoniae can cause a spectrum of diseases including invasive disease, such as meningitis, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia, as well as infections of the upper respiratory tract (6). Children are usually more susceptible to getting sick, which usually results in more trips to the doctor. Normally when children are sick, it results in sore throats, ear infections, and coughing (3). Every year 1.9 million children in the world under 5 years of age die from pneumonia (2).
In 1981, the pneumococcal vaccine was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and recommended that all adults 65 and older be vaccinated with a single dose (3). The pneumococcal vaccine was provided by Medicare so the elderly were able to afford it.
It wasn’t until 2000, that the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals was licensed to use a new vaccine on children. The 7-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccine offers protection against the seven serotypes (1). Although this new vaccine seemed to do its job, cost was too much and there were not enough vaccines to go around to health departments.
Beginning in August of 2001, shortages occurred and the ACIP issued updated recommendations to healthcare providers, advising them to fully vaccinate high-risk children younger than 5 years and decrease the number of doses administered to healthy infants (1). During the last 20 years, a dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance among pneumococci has been observed and linked to increasing antibiotic consumption (4). Several studies have suggested that reduction in antibiotic consumption leads to a reduction in the antibiotic resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae in the community (4). As a result of the shortage and cost, a total of 74,559 children aged less than 2 years were hospitalized in the United States for all-cause pneumonia in 2005, and 67,430 were hospitalized in 2006, accounting for approximately 8% of yearly nonbirth-related hospitalizations (5). The policy outlined will provide hope to the people of the United States that more proficient and cost effective vaccines will be distributed.

This policy is going to consist of the public receiving a larger amount of new vaccines that will protect against 13 serotypes of S. pneumoniae, but continued vigilance will be needed to make sure that S. pneumoniae infections do not resurge (3). The members of the government are going to reduce the cost of these new vaccines so that the general public will be able to pay for them as of right now. And then the remaining cost will be taken out with taxes. With the initial money from the government, it will allow production and delivery of the vaccines to hospitals, clinics, and doctor offices not to mention company programs and pharmacies.
Reduction of the cost of the vaccines is going to be in the hands of the people. Although all families vary in the amount of income they bring in, $20 will be an appropriate amount for each family member. Client’s that have insurance and receiving the vaccination will have a $5 co-pay. When a receipt is brought in from purchase, you may take that in at the end of the year to receive a tax deduction as well as an extra $10 bonus per family member.

This policy ensures that there will be more production of the new and improved vaccines, more individuals are going to receive the vaccine, and it will be less costly to the public.
Argumentative scholars may ask how the program will produce more vaccines for the public? The initial money of the government will allow production facilities to provide materials and delivery of millions of new serotype vaccines.
Another controversy of this policy, is what if there are members of society that are against receiving these vaccines? The vaccines are for people who want them. Not all the vaccines are going to go down to the very last person of the United States. The pneumococcal vaccine is to help bring down the ratio of people being infected and mortality rates.

1. “Chapter 11: Pneumococcal-Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable
Diseases (4th addition, 2008).” Center of Disease Control and Prevention. 30 September 2009.
2. “Pneumonia Research to Reduce Childhood Mortality in the Developing World.”
April 1, 2008. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 30 September 2009.
3. “Can Vaccines Reduce Antibiotic Use? The successes and Challenges of
Pneumococcal Vaccines.” August 2007. Extending the Cure. 30 September 2009.
4. “Seasonality of Antibiotic-Resistant Streptococcus Pneumoniae that Causes Acute
Otitis Media: A clue for Antibiotic-Restriction Policy.” April 15, 2008. Pubmed Central. 30 September 2009.
5. “Pneumonia Hospitalizations Among Young Children Before and After Introduction
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine-United States, 19972006.” Jan. 16, 2009. Center of Disease Control and Prevention. 30 September 2009.
6. “Trends in Drug Resistance, Serotypes, and Molecular Types of Streptococcus pneumoniae Colonizing Preschool-Age Children Attending Day Care Centers in Lisbon, Portugal: a Summary of 4 Years of Annual Surveilance.” March 2005. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 1 October 2009.

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