Purpose of review: The leading causes of bacterial meningitis and pneumonia in children, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and Streptococcus pneumoniae, are vaccine preventable. This study reviews the status of vaccine use globally and the evidence base that supports policy recommendations for use of these vaccines in children.
Recent findings: Recently, there have been substantial increases in the uptake of Hib and pneumococcal vaccines worldwide. These programs are supported by recent policy recommendations by the World Health Organization and an evidence base that includes recently published country-specific disease burden estimates, meta-analyses of vaccine efficacy, and cost-effectiveness analyses.
Summary: The introduction of Hib and pneumococcal vaccines is progressing worldwide and at a rate generally faster than that observed with hepatitis B vaccines. Efforts to expand the serotype coverage of pneumococcal vaccines and to monitor the impact of Hib and pneumococcal vaccines and to assure financing obstacles, especially in lower middle-income countries, are required.