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Pneumococcus: the first vaccine designed to protect the elderly is on the way

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Pneumococcus: the first vaccine designed to protect the elderly is on the way

The pneumococcal disease it is an infection caused by a bacterium and can also cause serious pathologies in adults, such as blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis. There are more than one hundred different types of pneumococcal bacteria, and many of these may affect adults differently than children. Adult patient populations particularly vulnerable to infections include adults elderly people not fragile people, with heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes, which cause immunosuppression. For all these people, vaccination is advisable.

Pneumococcus: the first vaccine designed to protect the elderly is on the way

A new vaccine, called V116. It is the first specifically designed for adults and has shown significant immune responses in this population. «Having serotypes directed towards pneumococcus not normally contained in the pediatric vaccine allows greater protection against the strains responsible for severe disease in the elderly and in adults with risk conditions» he explains Caterina RizzoProfessor of General and Applied Hygiene at the University of Pisa.


The V116 vaccine contains 21 serotypes, which resulted in a very effective immune response, without interfering with each other, and they cover 80% of pneumococcal diseases in the elderly. Among the 21 stereotypes there are 8 unique strains that protect this population from approximately a quarter of invasive diseases caused by pneumococcus.

«The novelty of the V116 vaccine is represented by the 8 strains that are contained only in this vaccine and it is precisely those strains that are responsible for up to 30% of adult disease. Studies have shown that the presence of the 8 strains that are not present in childhood vaccines provide additional and exclusive protection for adults at risk and the elderly” confirms Pier Luigi Lopalco, Professor of Hygiene at the University of Salento. the V116 vaccine should be approved in June this year by the FDA and also by the European Medicines Agency later this year.

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