Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
What you should know before your child gets the vaccine
accounts for over 7 million cases of otitis media (middle
ear infection) in the United States each year as well as being responsible for many cases
of pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis. Worldwide, 1.2 million children die as a result
of pneumococcal disease. The highest incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease occurs in
children under 5 years of age, with the highest attack rates in infants.
Vaccination is the best way to protect against pneumococcal disease. It will not only
reduce hospitalization and death from pneumococcal disease, but has been shown to reduce
ear infections, and the need for ear tubes. Since Streptococcus Pneumoniae is
carried mainly by children, the vaccine will reduce transmission of this bacteria to the
elderly, in whom it could be deadly.
Pneumococcal vaccine has very few side effects. And the risk of the vaccine is much
less than the risks of the disease. The reactions noted with this vaccine are
similar to those seen with other childhood vaccines. In clinical trials, the most commonly
reported side effects were site reactions, fever, irritability, drowsiness, restless sleep
and decreased appetite. They usually start within one day of the vaccination, and last up
to 24-48 hours.
Children with mild infections with or without a low-grade fever can still get the immunization.