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The inclusion of the heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in the immunization schedule of infants and young children has greatly reduced the incidence of invasive and non-invasive diseases due to Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, as PCV7 has some limitations, new vaccines containing more pneumococcal serotypes have been developed. Only two of these have so far reached the market: a 10-valent preparation containing the PCV7 serotypes plus serotypes 1, 5 and 7F (PCV10), and a 13-valent vaccine containing the PCV7 serotypes plus serotypes 1, 3, 5, 6A, 7F and 19A (PCV13). The main aim of this review is to discuss the reasons that have led to the formulation of PCV13, its immunogenicity, safety and tolerability and the recommendations concerning its use in children. There is no doubt that a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine with the composition of PCV13 has significantly increased the possibility of preventing pneumococcal disease. Its immunogenicity, safety and tolerability seem to be optimal, as does its cost-effectiveness. However, despite these favorable premises, it cannot be considered the final preparation for the prevention of pneumococcal disease, and it is likely that a new vaccine capable of covering all pneumococcal serotypes will be needed in the future.


Nicola Principi, Susanna Esposito. Use of the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in infants and young children. Expert opinion on biological therapy. 2012 May;12(5):641-8

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PMID: 22397739

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