Friday March 01, 2024

THL for jabbing risk group as Pneumococci may cause serious diseases

Published : 06 Feb 2024, 04:19

  DF Report
File Photo: Helsinki-Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).

Pneumococci, or Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria may cause serious diseases that require hospitalisation, including pneumonia, meningitis and blood poisoning, said the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in a press release on Monday.

The bacteria also may cause common upper respiratory tract infections, including sinus and middle ear infections.

However, blood poisoning or meningitis caused by pneumococcal bacteria are rare in Finland.

Some underlying medical conditions increase the risk of developing severe pneumococcal disease. This is why people in risk groups get the pneumococcal vaccine as part of the national vaccination programme.

These risk groups are all stem cell transplant recipients, under 75-year-olds with severe kidney disease, under 75-year-olds with severe immunodeficiency, 65–84-year-olds who have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Young children are also especially susceptible to pneumococcal diseases. This is why all children aged under 5 get the pneumococcal vaccine as part of the national vaccination programme.

The vaccinations are usually administered during child health clinic visits.

The pneumococcal vaccine prevents serious diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria and related secondary diseases. However, only some cases of pneumonia are caused by pneumococci, so the vaccine does not prevent pneumonia that is caused by other pathogens.

Vaccines in the national vaccination programme are free of charge and voluntary. Wellbeing services counties are responsible for organising vaccinations, and they inform residents where and when vaccinations are available.