INVASIVE PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASES IN CHILDREN AGED 1-59 MONTHS IN SICILY, ITALY: IMPORTANCE OF ACTIVE FAMILY PAEDIATRICIAN SURVEILLANCE AND VACCINATION COVERAGE

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Purpose: Aim of this study was to analyze pediatric invasive pneumococcal disease rates several years after the implementation of infant pneumococcal vaccination.
Methods: The study was carried out in Sicily and involved about 30,000 children, aged 1-59 months, actively monitored by 100 family pediatricians during 2010 and 2011. All children who met the inclusion criteria were considered eligible, recorded using a stan-dardized case report form and investigated for the presence of S. pneumoniae in speci-mens from sterile sites.
Results: None of the 40 eligible children was confirmed as a case of invasive pneumococ-cal disease. The incidence rate of invasive pneumococcal disease cases was 0.0/100,000 in both years. Regional childhood pneumococcal vaccination coverage rates were 90.7% in 2010 and 92.0% in 2011.
Conclusions: Our results show that during the study period invasive pneumococcal dis-ease cases were rare in Sicilian children, suggesting a very effective control of the disease in a region with very high vaccination coverage against S. pneumoniae.
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