In view of the increasing licensure and use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines, the relatively high cost, and growing issues with serotype emergence, there is a need to re-evaluate the role of pneumococcal protein vaccines (PPVs) and pathways to their licensure. This paper summarizes the discussion and viewpoints from an expert meeting regarding the development of PPVs. A wide spectrum of pneumococcal vaccine researchers, developers, and regulators met to review the state of PPVs, identify research and development needs, and provide consensus opinions to support the introduction of new PPVs where possible. They also discussed clinical and regulatory aspects pertinent to these vaccines and generated a series of recommendations for moving the field forward. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.