Vaccines in practice - 2012

Meningococcal group B vaccines
Jamie Findlow
pp 1-3
Despite the development of effective glycoconjugate vaccines against four of the five principle disease-causing meningococcal groups, there is still no licensed vaccine that provides broad protection against capsular group B (MenB) disease. As such, meningococcal disease remains a devastating illness feared by both healthcare professionals and parents due to its rapid onset and associated morbidity and mortality.
Comment: The flu season approaches
Peter M English
pp 3-3
We have published many articles on flu vaccination in Vaccines in practice, and have more in the pipeline. There are, however, still many unknowns. It might seem early to be considering the 2012–13 flu season, but now is the time to prepare, and to ensure that everything is in place to enable maximum uptake. The sooner in the season this can be done, the more likely it will be that people will be protected once flu arrives.
Vaccination of the ‘hard to reach’
Judith Moreton
pp 4-6
Immunisation is the greatest success of public health. Although improved nutrition and living standards, including sanitation and hygiene, have undoubtedly contributed to this success, it is undeniable that safe, effective immunisations have been crucial to the protection of individuals, their families and their communities from preventable, potentially serious, infectious diseases and their complications.
Invasive pneumococcal disease in the elderly
Sudhir Venkatesan and Puja Myles
pp 6-8
Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and includes septicaemia, pneumonia and meningitis. The term ‘invasive’ refers to disease in which the bacterium enters a sterile site such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), pleural fluid, joint fluid or pericardial fluid. With over 6,000 laboratory isolates being reported to the Health Protection Agency in 2005 alone, pneumococcus is one of the most frequently reported causes of meningitis and bacteraemia, causing significant morbidity and mortality in the UK and worldwide.
Delivering immunisations to children and adolescents in the USA
Angela K Shen
pp 9-11
In the USA, babies born today have the potential to be protected against 17 infectious diseases through the use of routinely recommended vaccines across their lifetimes. The impact of immunisations has been substantial in decreasing the mortality and morbidity of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) to record, or near record, lows. Most vaccines used today also save significant costs to society.