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International Journal of Infectious Diseases: Volume 1, Number 3
Adult Immunization for Influenza and Pneumococcal Infections
Alan W. Hampson, MSc

Int J Infect Dis 1997; 1(3):165-171.

Influenza and pneumococcal infections are important causes of morbidity and mortality in the older adult population, particularly in developed countries. The causative agents pose unique challenges for the formulation and manufacture of vaccines. Influenza vaccines must be regularly updated because of antigenic changes in the circulating viruses, and pneumococcal vaccines that consist of capsular polysaccharides must contain several antigens if they are to protect against multiple serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Nevertheless, safe vaccines which provide a good measure of protection against the severe sequelae of infection have been developed for both infections, and it has now been shown that these vaccines are more cost-effective than most other medical interventions in the older adult population. However, in most countries the vaccines remain largely under-utilized. Research toward improved vaccines is currently in progress; however, to gain the greatest benefits from both current and future vaccines requires a better understanding of the factors influencing their use.

Key Words: influenza, Streptococcus pneumoniae, vaccine

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