Only 37% of children between the ages 14 and 59 months have received the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). This alarming statistic was released on November 4, 2011 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
PCV13 replaces the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). Current recommendations include that: 1) children receive a primary series of PCV13 and 2) children between ages 14 and 59 months who have previously received the PCV7 as their primary series, receive a supplemental dose of PCV13, in order to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). Essentially, PCV13 protects children against an additional 6 strains of pneumococcus infection.
Pneumococcus is a bacterial infection that can cause invasive diseases, such as pneumonia, sepsis, and/or meningitis, which can result in severe illness and/or death. Parents are usually familiar with & doctors typically refer to this vaccine as one of the “pneumonia” vaccines.
If your child is less than 5 years old, please ask your kids’ doctor if they are due for PCV13. It could prevent illness & even save their lives. For more information regarding kids and this pneumonia vaccine, PCV13, please go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/default.htm#vacc.