Pneumococci are a significant cause of severe bacterial infections, like meningitis and sepsis, in Finland. The pneumococcal vaccine is included in the National Immunisation Programme for young children, patients who have received stem cell treatment, to those under 75 years of age who are severely immunocompromised or suffer from severe nephrotic disease and to 65-84 years old patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is additionally recommended for people belonging to certain medical risk groups.
Pneumococci are spread via respiratory droplets and by touch. There are over 90 different types of pneumococcus, and a little over 20 of them cause the majority of pneumococcal diseases. Pneumococcal vaccines prevent otitis, meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis caused by pneumococci.