Globally, pneumonia is the leading cause of death among children. Few data exist regarding the effect of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-13) on the burden of childhood pneumonia in African settings.
We collected data on children 1 to 59 months of age at three hospitals in Botswana. Hib vaccine and PCV-13 were introduced in Botswana in November 2010 and July 2012, respectively. We compared pneumonia hospitalizations and deaths pre-vaccine (January 2009 to October 2010) to post-vaccine (January 2013 to December 2017) using seasonally-adjusted interrupted time-series analyses.
We identified 6943 pneumonia hospitalizations and 201 pneumonia deaths. In the pre-vaccine period, pneumonia hospitalizations and deaths increased by 24% (rate: 1.24; 95% CI: 0.94, 1.64) and 59% (rate: 1.59; 95% CI: 0.87, 2.90) per year, respectively. Vaccine introduction was associated with a 48% (95% CI: 29%, 62%) decrease in the number of pneumonia hospitalizations and a 50% (95% CI: 1%, 75%) decrease in the number of pneumonia deaths between the end of the pre-vaccine period (October 2010) and the beginning of the post-vaccine period (January 2013). During the post-vaccine period, pneumonia hospitalizations and deaths declined by 6% (rate 0.94; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.99) and 22% (rate: 0.78; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.92) per year, respectively.
Pneumonia hospitalizations and deaths among children declined sharply following introduction of Hib vaccine and PCV-13 in Botswana. This effect was sustained for more than five years after vaccine introduction, supporting the long-term effectiveness of these vaccines in preventing childhood pneumonia in Botswana.

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