As organisations concerned with the current and future wellbeing of our rapidly ageing society, the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) and the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) have conducted a great deal of work on the burden of pneumococcal disease across the life-course.
We believe that the UK’s immunisation programme over recent years has been very successful in reducing incidences of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD), a major cause of death globally.
However, in October 2017 the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) suggested that the childhood vaccination for pneumococcal disease should move from a 2+1 schedule (two initial doses and a follow-up dose) to a 1+1 schedule (one initial dose and a follow-up).
We were concerned to hear from the JCVI’s reports that “moving to a 1+1 schedule might increase IPD cases in infants because of loss of direct protection, and in older adults because of a reduction in herd immunity as a result of less protection against carriage in infants after a single dose.”
We would welcome more detailed research into the potential increase in cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in children and adults that might occur from a change to the pneumococcal immunisation programme, to a ‘1 + 1’ schedule.
Given the potential risks of this decision, we would urge a fuller consultation on proposed changes to the pneumococcal immunisation programme. Perhaps an expert sub-committee of JCVI could be convened to review the evidence before a final decision is made.
Finally, to declare an interest, ILC-UK’s work on immunisation has been financially supported (through non-restricted educational grants) by a range of pharmaceutical companies who may have an interest in this area including SPMSD, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer and the IFA’s work on immunisation has been supported similarly by Pfizer and GSK through unrestricted educational grants.
David Sinclair Jane Barratt
Director Secretary General
ILC-UK International Federation on Ageing