A compartmental deterministic model was used to estimate parameters governing transmission of infection and competition between different groups of pneumococcal serotypes prior to the introduction of PCV13. The best-fitting parameters were used in an individual based model to describe pneumococcal transmission dynamics and effects of various options for the vaccination programme change in England and Wales. A number of scenarios were conducted using (i) different assumptions about the number of invasive pneumococcal disease cases adjusted for the increasing trend in disease incidence prior to PCV7 introduction in England and Wales, and (ii) a range of values representing serotype replacement induced by vaccination of the additional six serotypes in PCV13.
Despite inevitable uncertainty around serotype replacement effects following introduction of PCV13, the model suggests a reduction in overall invasive pneumococcal disease incidence in all cases. Our results provide useful evidence on the benefits of PCV13 to countries replacing or considering replacing PCV7 with PCV13, as well as data that can be used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of such a switch.
Most of the scenarios considered suggest that ceasing pneumococcal conjugate vaccine use would cause an increase in invasive pneumococcal disease incidence, while replacing PCV7 with PCV13 would cause an overall decrease. However, the size of this reduction largely depends on the level of competition induced by the additional serotypes in PCV13. The model estimates that over 20 years of PCV13 vaccination, around 5000-62000 IPD cases could be prevented compared to stopping pneumococcal conjugate vaccination altogether.
England and Wales recently replaced the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) with its 13-valent equivalent (PCV13), partly based on projections from mathematical models of the long-term impact of such a switch compared to ceasing pneumococcal conjugate vaccination altogether.