The Finnish national vaccination programme has been expanded for the pneumococcal vaccine. The vaccine was previously given as part of the national vaccination programme to children under 5 years of age and persons who had received a stem cell transplant, but now it is also available for persons under 75 years of age with severe kidney disease and a GFR of 30 at the maximum or nephrotic syndrome.
The pneumococcal vaccine prevents serious diseases such as meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia caused by bacteria called pneumococcus. The effectiveness of the vaccine depends on the vaccinated person's age and underlying condition as well as on the prevalence of the pneumococcal pathogens to be vaccinated against.
Persons with severe kidney disease have approximately a six-fold risk of a serious pneumococcal disease and an over ten-fold risk of pneumonia that requires hospitalisation compared to average population.