Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine: a systematic review of clinical effectiveness in adults

Vaccine. 2002 May 22;20(17-18):2166-73. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(02)00112-3.


Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is recommended in western countries for individuals at high risk of pneumococcal illness. We undertook a systematic review of randomised controlled trials of pneumococcal vaccine in adults, to determine the effects on clinical outcomes.

Results: In industrialised populations, no benefit was detected for outcomes other than pneumococcal bacteraemia, and this did not reach statistical significance. In non-industrial populations, clear benefit was demonstrated for mortality and all-cause pneumonia.

Conclusion: Benefit from pneumococcal vaccination depends on the baseline risk of infection and characteristics of a given population. Evidence from randomised trials for widespread adult vaccination in industrial countries is lacking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Pneumococcal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Pneumococcal Vaccines