Vaccine proves effective against the most severe type of pne
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The research led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) and published in The Lancet Regional Health -- Western Pacific, found the PCV13-vaccine reduced hypoxic pneumonia and pneumonia requiring oxygen support by 37 percent.

Globally, lower respiratory infections, including pneumonia, are a leading cause of death in children under five years old, causing 800,000 deaths annually, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries.

The study involved 826 children, aged up to five years, admitted to hospital with pneumonia. PCV13 reduced hypoxic pneumonia and pneumonia requiring extra oxygen by 37 percent.

Researchers said because pneumonia was a leading cause of childhood deaths in Laos, the PCV13 vaccine had great potential to alleviate this burden of disease on the most vulnerable. Pneumonia that requires oxygen therapy is one of the severest manifestations of pneumonia. Universal health care did not exist in Laos until recently, and supplementary oxygen treatment was prohibitively expensive for families.

In October 2013, Laos introduced the PCV13 vaccine into its national childhood vaccination program, but the Ministry of Health requested evidence of the health benefits of the vaccine to support its ongoing use.

"The results provide a compelling argument to continue childhood PCV13 vaccination in Laos and for its introduction into similar countries with high death rates from pneumonia," researchers said.

The study also described a simple, low-cost single hospital-based method to assess vaccine effectiveness that was feasible for other low and middle-income countries to adopt. Measuring the success of this vaccine would usually require thousands of cases collected over many years of surveillance, and often involving many hospitals.

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