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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether having the pneumococcal vaccine has potential benefits for patients with covid-19.
Based on our knowledge of influenza, an epidemic of viral pneumonia caused by COVID-19 infection, could potentially result in an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease above and beyond the normal seasonal variation. The United Kingdom pneumococcal conjugate programme in children provides strong ‘herd immunity’, which protects the whole population, including the elderly, against the 13 types contained in the vaccine. Cases due to other types of pneumococcus may also be covered by the vaccine which is offered as part of a national programme to those in clinical risk groups and to all over 65s. This vaccine covers 23 types of pneumococcus and will provide modest protection against severe forms of infection to those vaccinated. Both immunisation programmes may therefore help to mitigate any potential risk of an increase in pneumococcal infection associated with any COVID-19 epidemic.