Immunization can prevent long-term effects of meningococcal disease, such as hearing loss and psychological problems

A systematic literature review of studies of the long-term effects of invasive meningococcal disease in high-income countries found that children who survived the disease had a greater incidence of hearing loss and psychological problems, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than control groups or the general population. In addition, they had increased odds of death – one study showed more than a 25% greater mortality rate in this population than did the general public up to 30 years after having the disease.

Immunization reduces the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease, but those on immunosuppressants still have higher chances

Even though the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease declined in all groups, including individuals on immunosuppressive drugs, following the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines for infants in Norway, people on chemotherapy were still 20 times more likely to get IPD than individuals not on any immunosuppressants, while individuals on long-term corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs were around 6 times more likely to get the disease.

Vaccinating pregnant women against pertussis greatly reduces the risk of the disease in infants and infant deaths

Vaccinating pregnant women against pertussis at least one week before delivery was found to be 91% effective in preventing the disease in infants <3 months old and 95% effective in preventing infant deaths in a study conducted in England over a 3-year period following the introduction of dTap-IPV vaccine for pregnant women. Of the 37 deaths from pertussis in infants that occurred in England from 2009 to 2015, 32 (86%) were in infants <2 months of age, highlighting the vulnerability of very young infants to severe pertussis. All but 2 of the deaths in <2 month olds were in children whose mothers hadn’t been vaccinated against pertussis during their pregnancy, while in the 2 other cases, the vaccination occurred too late in the pregnancy (<10 days before the birth).

Refugee girls in Denmark have lower HPV vaccination rates, highlighting the need to address barriers and improve immunization programs

Girls from refugee families in Denmark were 40-56% less likely to receive HPV vaccine through 2 free-of-charge immunization programs than Danish-born girls, and the differences remained significant when income was taken into account. The odds of being vaccinated were lowest for refugees in the country ≤5 years and those from certain countries or regions, indicating the need to reduce cultural, social, and information barriers to immunization, as well as assess immunization programs across increasingly ethnically diverse societies.

The HPV vaccine can protect both young women and men from oropharyngeal cancers

HPV vaccine given to young women may also protect similarly-aged men against oropharyngeal cancers, which have been rising in incidence in the U.S. and Western Europe. In a small study in the UK, rates of oral HPV infections caused by HPV-16 were similar for males 12-24 years of age and vaccinated females (0% vs. 0.5%). This was considerably lower than the rates for unvaccinated females (5.6%) and men ≥25 years old (7.1%).

HPV-16 is the main HPV type linked to oropharyngeal cancers.