Fall in otitis media cases in wake of new pneumococcal vax

Grommet insertion also dropped following the introduction of 13-valent vaccine, says US study

Otitis media episodes and the insertion of pressure equalisation tubes, or grommets, have dropped since the introduction of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), researchers report.

Introduction of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) into the US infant vaccination schedule in 2000 was associated with reductions in all-cause of otitis media and grommet insertion procedures.

Researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee investigated whether a further drop would follow the transition from PCV7 to PCV13 in 2010 among more than 368,000 children aged under two.

After adjustment for other factors, the risk of otitis media was 8% lower in the most recent PCV13 birth cohort (2013-2014) than in the last PCV7 birth cohort (2009-2010). 

The risk of grommet insertion procedures was 24% lower in 2013-2014 than in 2009-2010.