Don't Delay, Vaccinate Today 5

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14th October 2009, 03:33am - Views: 1180

Community Health COMO - (Confederation Of Meningitis Organisations) 2 image


Don't Delay, Vaccinate Today

SYDNEY, Oct. 14 /Medianet International-Asianet/--

   The Confederation of Meningitis Organizations (CoMO) today issued a call to action to

parents in Asia to immunise their children against pneumococcal disease, to reduce their

children's risk of serious illness and preventable death. 

   The call to action comes on the eve of the 13th Asian Pacific Congress of Pediatrics

to be held in China at the Shanghai International Convention Center, which aims to

address health issues affecting children in Asia.

   Pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of vaccine preventable death worldwide in

children younger than five[1]. The disease is estimated to claim up to one million

deaths in children each year, with half of the top 10 countries with the highest

prevalence of pneumococcal disease found in Asia[2],[3].

   In Indonesia alone, studies have shown that 24 percent of people infected with

invasive pneumococcal disease die as a result of the infection[4]. Pneumococcal disease

can also cause pneumonia and meningitis, which are two of the most serious conditions a

child can suffer from[5],[6]. 

   Pneumococcal immunisation is critical in protecting children from pneumococcal

disease, which refers to a range of illnesses caused by infection with the bacterium

streptococcus pneumonia, also known as pneumococcus[7]. The vaccines that help protect

against pneumococcal disease have been readily available and widely used globally for

over nine years. 

   "We strongly encourage all parents to immunise their children, as infants are the

main carriers of this life-threatening disease," said Mr Bruce Langoulant, CoMO

President. "Immunising children against pneumococcal disease can therefore reduce the

spread of bacteria to other children," he said.

   Pneumococcal disease is picked up through close contact with infected carriers. Most

people carry pneumococcal bacteria in their nose and throat. The bacteria are

transferred to another person through droplets of saliva or mucus, such as when a

carrier sneezes, coughs, shares toys or kisses someone[7].

   The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the priority inclusion of the 7-

valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in national childhood immunisation programs

worldwide since 2007. In Asia, PCV7 is currently available on the childhood immunisation

program in Hong Kong. While PCV7 is not on childhood immunisation programs in other

countries in Asia, it is readily available from doctors.

   Parents seeking more information about immunising against pneumococcal disease should

speak to their doctor. 


   For further information or to arrange an interview with CoMO President, Mr Bruce

Langoulant, please contact: 

                  Andrea Brady - 


                  +64 212 545 324.

   About CoMO:

   The Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO) was established in 2004 to be a

global voice for the organisations and patient groups which continue to be formed to

raise awareness about meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning) and to ensure support

Community Health COMO - (Confederation Of Meningitis Organisations) 3 image

is available for those affected. CoMO is now comprised of 26 meningitis and children's

health organisations and 7 individual advocates from around the world and is working to

strengthen its network of families and healthcare professionals within the Asia Pacific

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Vaccine preventable deaths and the

global immunization vision and strategy, 2006-2015.  MMWR. 2006;55(18)511-515.(Document

provided by Wyeth)

[2] The Medical News, Wyeth's Prevenar vaccine for pneumococcal disease registered in

Russia, March 2009. Accessed 12 August 2009

[3] Rudanl, Boschi-Pinto C, Biloglav Z, Mullholland K & Campbell H. Epidemiology and

etiology of childhood pneumonia. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2008; 86:408-

416. Available at Accessed August 13


[4] Bravo LC. Overview of the disease burden of invasive pneumococcal disease in Asia.

Vaccine (2009).

[5] World Pneumonia Day, Tackling Pneumococcal Disease - the world's biggest killer of

children, 31st July 2009. Accessed 12 August 2009


[6] World Pneumonia Day, Learn More About Childhood Pneumonia, Short video about global

efforts to prevent Pneumococcal Disease, 2009. Accessed 12 August 2009

[7] Better Health Channel, Pneumococcal disease fact sheet, 2002. Accessed 11 August

   SOURCE: COMO - (Confederation of Meningitis Organisations)


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