Pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumococcal pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia, is associated with substantial morbidity, mortality, and health care costs in adults. Advanced age, chronic lung or cardiovascular disease, immunosuppressive conditions, and smoking increase the risk for infection. Despite the availability of an effective pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), vaccination rates among adults remain suboptimal. This is of immediate concern given the current H1N1 pandemic, since secondary bacterial infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae is common and can contribute to morbidity and mortality. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently called for increased efforts to vaccinate recommended persons against pneumococcal disease. Long-term trends including the growth of the elderly population and an increase in the number of patients with chronic conditions also underscore the importance of improving pneumococcal vaccination rates. It is important for health care providers, public health officials, and policy makers to recognize the serious health impact of pneumococcal disease in adults and to ensure increased coverage; at present, this is the best way to protect against invasive pneumococcal infection and its consequences.
"Such programs target high uptake rates and coverages [10,11], for which subsidies and public relations (PR) are often organized in order to encourage the elderly to get vaccinated. However, the effects of subsidies and PR in publicly funded vaccination program have not been studied well in the literature. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccination programs often organize subsidies and public relations in order to obtain high uptake rates and coverage. However, effects of subsidies and public relations have not been studied well in the literature. In this study, the demand function of pneumococcal vaccination among the elderly in Japan is estimated, incorporating effects of public relations and subsidy.
Using a data from a questionnaire survey sent to municipalities, the varying and constant elasticity models were applied to estimate the demand function. The response variable is the uptake rate. Explanatory variables are: subsidy supported shot price, operating years of the program, target population size for vaccination, shot location intensity, income and various public relations tools. The best model is selected by c-AIC, and varying and constant price elasticities are calculated from estimation results.
The vaccine uptake rate and the shot price have a negative relation. From the results of varying price elasticity, the demand for vaccination is elastic at municipalities with a shot price higher than 3,708 JPY (35.7 USD). Effects of public relations on the uptake rate are not found.
It can be suggested that municipalities with a shot price higher than 3,708 JPY (35.7 USD) could subsidize more and reduce price to increase the demand for vaccination. Effects of public relations are not confirmed in this study, probably due to measurement errors of variables used for public relations, and studies at micro level exploring individual's response to public relations would be required.
BMC Health Services Research 09/2012; 12(1):313. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-12-313 · 1.71 Impact Factor
"Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is an extracellular human respiratory pathogen causing sinusitis, otitis media, pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. Invasive pneumococcal infections are an important cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, especially among young children and the elderly . Pneumococci cause at least 1 million deaths worldwide every year, mostly as a result of community-acquired pneumonia . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is considerable interest in pneumococcal protein antigens capable of inducing serotype-independent immunoprotection and of improving, thereby, existing vaccines. We report here on the immunogenic properties of a novel surface antigen encoded by ORF spr1875 in the R6 strain genome. An antigenic fragment encoded by spr1875, designated R4, was identified using a Streptococcus pneumoniae phage displayed genomic library after selection with a human convalescent serum. Immunofluorescence analysis with anti-R4 antisera showed that Spr1875 was expressed on the surface of strains belonging to different serotypes. Moreover, the gene was present with little sequence variability in 27 different pneumococcal strains isolated worldwide. A mutant lacking Spr1875 was considerably less virulent than the wild type D39 strain in an intravenous mouse model of infection. Moreover, immunization with the R4 recombinant fragment, but not with the whole Spr1875 protein, induced significant protection against sepsis in mice. Lack of protection after immunization with the whole protein was related to the presence of immunodominant, non-protective epitopes located outside of the R4 fragment. In conclusion, our data indicate that Spr1875 has a role in pneumococcal virulence and is immunogenic. As the R4 fragment conferred immunoprotection from experimental sepsis, selected antigenic fragments of Spr1875 may be useful for the development of a pneumococcal protein-based vaccine.
PLoS ONE 05/2012; 7(5):e36588. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0036588 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"The ability to reach patients who are 60–70 years old is especially salient given the high morbidity, mortality, and associated costs of IPD in this group  . With more of the baby boomer generation reaching 65 each year, resources to meet immunization demand in this cohort will increase . Furthermore, older patients are more likely to have multiple comorbid conditions , which necessitate an integrated, coordinated care approach . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Older adults and persons with chronic conditions are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease. Severe pneumococcal disease represents a substantial humanistic and economic burden to society. Although pneumococcal vaccination (PPSV) can decrease risk for serious consequences, vaccination rates are suboptimal. As more people seek annual influenza vaccinations at community pharmacies, pharmacists have the ability to identify at-risk patients and provide PPSV.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of pharmacists educating at-risk patients on the importance of receiving a pneumococcal vaccination.
Using de-identified claims from a large, national pharmacy chain, all patients who had received an influenza vaccination between August 1, 2010 and November 14, 2010 and who were eligible for PPSV were identified for the analysis. Based on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations, at-risk patients were identified as over 65 years of age or as aged 2-64 with a comorbid conditions. A benchmark medical and pharmacy claims database of commercial and Medicare health plan members was used to derive a PPSV vaccination rate typical of traditional care delivery to compare to pharmacy-based vaccination. Period incidence of PPSV was calculated and compared.
Among the 1.3 million at-risk patients who were vaccinated by a pharmacist during the study period, 65,598 (4.88%) also received a pneumococcal vaccine. This vaccination rate was significantly higher than the benchmark rate of 2.90% (34,917/1,204,104; p<.001) representing traditional care. Patients aged 60-70 years had the highest vaccination rate (6.60%; 26,430/400,454) of any age group.
Pharmacists were successful at identifying at-risk patients and providing additional immunization services. Concurrent immunization of PPSV with influenza vaccination by pharmacists has potential to improve PPSV coverage. These results support the expanding role of community pharmacists in the provision of wellness and prevention services.
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