Background Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common childhood infection. In September 2006, heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was added into the UK national immunisation programme. Data from this study were compared with those from a similar study undertaken in the same hospitals in 2000–2001 to describe the disease epidemiological trend.
Aim To evaluate the impact of PCV7 on the incidence of all causes childhood CAP.
Methods A prospective population-based study including 11 hospitals in the North East of England from August 2008 to July 2009. Eligible cases were all children aged 0–16 years who presented with clinical and radiological features of pneumonia. Demographic and clinical details were recorded.
Results Five hundred and seventy-six cases were initially identified, 34 of them had normal chest x-ray and were removed after validation, leaving a total of 542 cases eligible for enrolment (57.7% males; 73.8% under-five). The rate of empyema complication was 5.3%. Lobar consolidation was reported in 29.9%, and pleural effusion was present in 9.6% of the chest x-rays. PCV7 uptake was 88.9% among the eligible group, which is similar to that recorded nationally in the NHS Immunisation Statistics for England 2008–2009. In comparison with the data from 2001 study, there were 28% fewer cases of CAP in 2009 study. The incidence of CAP decreased from 14.4 cases per 10 000 children in 2001 to 11.8 cases per 10 000 children in 2009 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.92).
Conclusion This study suggests that following the introduction of PCV7, the incidence of childhood pneumonia seen in hospital has decreased since 2001.