Due to the geographic distribution of pneumococcal serotypes, additional research is needed to find the most efficacious vaccine for developing-world populations. In a previous study, the most common pneumococcal serotypes or groups from developed countries were found to be, in descending order, 14, 6, 19, 18, 9, 23, 7, 4, 1 and 15. In developing countries the order was 6, 14, 8, 5, 1, 19, 9, 23, 18, 15 and 7.  In order to further pneumococcal vaccine research and reduce childhood mortality, five countries and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established a pilot Advance Market Commitment for pneumococal vaccines worth US$ billion. Advance Market Commitments are a new approach to public health funding designed to stimulate the development and manufacture of vaccines for developing countries. 
An estimated 20 –30 % of pregnant women carry GBS bacteria in the bowels or vagina, but 99% of babies born to mothers who carry the bacteria are perfectly healthy.
There is currently no vaccine available that protects against GBS meningitis and septicaemia. There is a vaccine under development however, and it is hoped that in future women will be able to be immunised in pregnancy to protect newborns from this type of meningitis.
Download our GBS meningitis and septicaemia factsheet
Pneumococcal disease occurs around the world. Travelers may be at higher risk if spending time in crowded settings or in close contact with children in countries where pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is not routinely used. Pneumococcal disease is more common in developing countries. Pneumococcal disease is also more common during winter and early spring but occurs year-round in the tropics. Outbreaks of pneumococcal disease are uncommon in countries that have introduced the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, but may occur in certain situations, such as in nursing homes, childcare centers, or other institutions.