Annals of Thoracic Medicine Official publication of the Saudi Thoracic Society, affiliated to King Saud University
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 93-102

The Saudi Thoracic Society pneumococcal vaccination guidelines-2016

1 Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed S Al-Hajjaj
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah
United Arab Emirates
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.180030

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Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Saudi Arabia is a host to millions of pilgrims who travel annually from all over the world for Umrah and the Hajj pilgrimages and are at risk of developing pneumococcal pneumonia or invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). There is also the risk of transmission of S. pneumoniae including antibiotic resistant strains between pilgrims and their potential global spread upon their return. The country also has unique challenges posed by susceptible population to IPD due to people with hemoglobinopathies, younger age groups with chronic conditions, and growing problem of antibiotic resistance. Since the epidemiology of pneumococcal disease is constantly changing, with an increase in nonvaccine pneumococcal serotypes, vaccination policies on the effectiveness and usefulness of vaccines require regular revision. As part of the Saudi Thoracic Society (STS) commitment to promote the best practices in the field of respiratory diseases, we conducted a review of S. pneumoniae infections and the best evidence base available in the literature. The aim of the present study is to develop the STS pneumococcal vaccination guidelines for healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. We recommend vaccination against pneumococcal infections for all children <5 years old, adults ≥50 years old, and people ≥6 years old with certain risk factors. These recommendations are based on the presence of a large number of comorbidities in Saudi Arabia population <50 years of age, many of whom have risk factors for contracting pneumococcal infections. A section for pneumococcal vaccination before the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages is included as well.

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