Volume 27, Issue 32, Pages 4247-4380 (9 July 2009)
Pneumococcal vaccination in developing countries: Where does science end and commerce begin?
Joseph L. Mathew
Recently Pneumococcal vaccines have generated considerable interest in developing countries as an intervention for protecting children from pneumonia and thereby reducing childhood mortality. Many convincing scientific arguments have been put forward, although they are often based either on extension of information from developed countries, or estimation plus extrapolation of limited local data. In addition, there is also significant commercial pressure to prescribe/recommend Pneumococcal vaccine(s). Against such a background, it is important for developing countries to critically appraise the issues involved in order to make a rational choice. This brief paper explores these issues, showing that the current Pneumococcal vaccines have limited effectiveness in developing countries and the hype surrounding them is more commercial than scientific.