GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT :: Overview of Immunizations
What is pneumococcus?
Pneumococcus are bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, including pneumonia, infection in the blood, and meningitis (infection in the tissues around the brain and spinal cord). In young children, pneumococcus bacteria often cause otitis media (middle ear infection), which can lead to more serious complications such as meningitis.
Immunization against pneumococcus:
Although pneumococcal vaccines have been used for older children and adults for many years, a new form of pneumococcal vaccine is now recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for all children younger than age 2. This vaccine is called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). The AAP also recommends that PCV7 be given to all children ages 24 to 59 months of age who are at very high risk for developing pneumococcal infections. This includes children who have weakened immune (infection fighting) systems, such as those with sickle cell disease and HIV infection (human immunodeficiency virus).
When is PCV7 given?
PCV7 can be given along with other childhood vaccines and is recommended at the following ages:
What are the risks from PCV7?
A vaccine, like any medication, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. However, the most common reactions to PCV7 include the following:
How do I care for my child after immunization with PCV7?
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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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