Immunisation with a polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine. Effect of respiratory mortality in children living in the New Guinea highlands.
In Tari, in the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea, each child experienced, on average, two acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRTI) between birth and age 5 years. The yearly mortality rate from ALRTI was 30 per 1000 in infants, and 4 per 1000 in children aged between 1 and 4 years. A double-blind trial of a 14-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine was carried out on 871 children from this community who were aged between 6 months and 5 years. Morbidity from ALRTI was lower (by 37%) in children given the vaccine provided they were at least 17 months of age at the time of immunisation. There were 8 deaths from ALRTI in the placebo group, but only 1 death in the vaccine group.