Invasive pneumococcal illness amongst youngsters in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in England

In a latest article posted to the Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers demonstrated heightened invasive pneumococcal illness (IPD) incidence in youngsters youthful than 15 in the course of the extreme acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic in England.

Study: Increased Incidence of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease among Children after COVID-19 Pandemic, England. Image Credit: MIA Studio/Shuterstock
Research: Increased Incidence of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease among Children after COVID-19 Pandemic, England. Picture Credit score: MIA Studio/Shuterstock


There was a big lower in respiratory infections, significantly IPD, because of the CoV illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its corresponding lockdowns, social isolation, and different preventative interventions in England. IPD incidences in England decreased by 30% following the preliminary COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020. The IPD circumstances stayed low all through the following winter until February 2021, after they rose by 8% above the three-year pre-pandemic imply incidence for February.

When the nation ended its third nationwide lockdown in March 2021, following the looks of the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant, IPD situations started to rise progressively. There have been 25% fewer circumstances than earlier than the pandemic by June 2021. Nevertheless, there had been a correspondingly increased rise in circumstances throughout youngsters youthful than 15.

Concerning the research

The current research examined IPD patterns from July to December 2021, following the removing of all SARS-CoV-2 management measures in England on 19 July 2021. Utilizing nationwide improved surveillance information for England, the researchers in contrast IPD situations from July by means of December 2021 to July by means of December 2020 and July by means of December in three pre-pandemic years, i.e., 2017 by means of 2019.

Briefly, Nationwide Well being Service (NHS) hospitals routinely ship invasive pneumococcal isolates for serotyping and digital notification of infections to the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA). The UKHSA forwards basic practitioners a questionnaire about medical traits, danger variables, affected person outcomes, and vaccination background for validated circumstances. The group employed mid-year inhabitants projections from the Workplace of Nationwide Statistics as denominators to compute incidence, using 2020 statistics for 2021 since 2021 information had been unavailable.

Outcomes and conclusions

The research outcomes depicted that between July and December of 2021, 1,632 IPD incidents had been reported to UKHSA, relative to a median of two,403 in that very same interval within the three pre-pandemic years, 2017 by means of 2019. IPD incidence per 100,000 youngsters fell by 50% amongst youngsters aged under 15 between July and December 2020. Nonetheless, it rose progressively once more in February 2021 and stayed above the common of 145 situations from the three years earlier than the pandemic in July to December 2021.

Case charges elevated extra rapidly in youthful age teams, the place incidence was highest all through this timeframe: 10.63 amongst infants underneath 1 12 months; 3.22 amongst youngsters aged 1 to 4; 1.02 amongst youngsters aged 5 to 9; and 0.44 amongst youngsters aged 10 to 14. Incidence from July to December 2021 was decrease than the pre-pandemic common from July to December 2017 to 2019 regardless of a rise in circumstances amongst these older than 15 years between February and December 2021.

The age distribution of childhood IPD incidents was just like that of the pre-pandemic timeframe: 32% of infections had been amongst infants underneath 1 12 months outdated, 42.5 % amongst youngsters aged 1 to 4, 18 % amongst youngsters aged 5 to 9, and seven.5 % amongst youngsters aged 10 to 14. The group discovered no variation in serotype distribution amongst years or inside age teams within the 172, i.e., 86%, pneumococcal isolates serotyped. Nonvaccine varieties and serotypes within the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23), but not within the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) predominated relative to PCV7 and different PCV13 serotypes.

Essentially the most prevalent serotypes throughout childhood circumstances remained in line with pre-pandemic ranges in 2021. Serotypes 19A, 3, and 19F continued to dominate amongst PCV13 circumstances. Essentially the most important decline within the further PPV23 serotypes was seen in serotype 12F, which led to twenty% of PPV23 infections within the pre-pandemic section however was undetected from July to December of 2021.

Moreover, from 2% earlier than the pandemic to 13% throughout 2021, extra infections had been attributable to PPV23 serotype 11A. The nonvaccine serotypes confirmed no important alterations, in line with the researchers.

In comparison with the time earlier than the pandemic, extra IPD infections in 2021 exhibited bacteremia. Pneumonia, meningitis, and different medical signs comprised an identical share of circumstances. The 30-day case-mortality charges in the course of the pre-and post-pandemic durations had been comparable.


In abstract, the research findings confirmed that whereas whole IPD circumstances had been fewer in 2021 than within the three years earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, elevations in childhood circumstances above pre-pandemic ranges might point out hikes in circumstances amongst all age classes. The authors acknowledged {that a} excessive childhood PCV13 uptake is crucial for ongoing inhabitants safety.

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