Increased Incidence of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease Among Children After COVID-19 Pandemic, England

Marta Bertran; Zahin Amin-Chowdhury; Carmen L. Sheppard; Seyi Eletu; Dania V. Zamarreño; Mary E. Ramsay; David Litt; Norman K. Fry; Shamez N. Ladhani

Disclosures

Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2022;28(8):1669-1672. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

During July–December 2021, after COVID-19 restrictions were removed in England, invasive pneumococcal disease incidence in children <15 years of age was higher (1.96/100,000 children) than during the same period in 2020 (0.7/100,000 children) and in prepandemic years 2017–2019 (1.43/100,000 children). Childhood vaccine coverage should be maintained to protect the population.

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdowns, social isolation, and other interventions led to large declines in respiratory infections, including invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).[1,2] In England, IPD cases declined by 30% after the first lockdown in March 2020 and remained low during the subsequent winter until February 2021, when cases increased by 8% above the 3-year prepandemic mean incidence for February.[3] As the country ended its third national lockdown in March 2021, after emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant, IPD cases started to gradually increase. By June 2021, case numbers remained 25% lower than prepandemic levels, but we observed a proportionately higher increase in cases among children <15 years of age.[3] We describe IPD trends during July–December 2021, after England removed all COVID-19 control measures on July 19, 2021.

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