Healthcare experts urge immunisation against pneumococcal disease for kids, elderly

Local and international healthcare experts are urging parents and elderly adults to immunise against pneumococcal disease.

Worldwide the bacterial disease, which causes infections such as meningitis and pneumonia, is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable deaths in children younger than five years old.

Doctors such as the National University Hospital's paediatric department chief Daniel Goh and Professor Ron Dagan of Soroka University in Israel, gathered at Mandarin Orchard Hotel on Friday to call for increased efforts in the fight against the disease.

Professor Goh called the disease a "serious health threat" for children and older adults. He also noted an emerging serotype known as 19a, that is becoming more common here and around the world.

In Singapore, the mean annual hospitalisation rate for pneumococcal disease is 10.9 per 100,000. The medical condition is preventable with the vaccine Prevenar 13.

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