Pneumococcal Vaccine For Babies

3 min read

Pneumonia is a disease that can affect babies and kids the most. The reason for getting pneumonia is streptococcus bacteria which is also responsible for diseases like meningitis and sepsis. Also, kids can get serious ear infections due to the virus, and so, to avoid this, parents opt for a pneumococcal vaccine. The vaccine can fight various virus attacks in infants, giving them a healthy life in the future. This article will shed more light on the pneumonia vaccine, its types, and doses.

pneumococcal vaccine

What is the Pneumococcal Vaccine?

Pneumococcal vaccine, based on a capsular polysaccharide, is a vaccine that is meant to protect babies and kids from pneumococcal disease, caused by bacteria. It can spread through air, cough, or sneeze. As mentioned, it can lead to serious illnesses like bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, middle ear infection or otitis media, and sinus infections.

Since pneumonia is a leading cause of death among children below the age of 5, it is advised to give babies the vaccine to protect them.

What are the types of Pneumococcal Vaccines?

There are two types of the vaccine-

  1. Pneominal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13)
  2. Pneumonial Polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

Doctors prefer PCV13 vaccines for infants, which suits most babies. You can talk to your children’s physician about the pneumococcal vaccination schedule, and also find the right time to take your little one to the vaccination center. Pneumococcal vaccine price ranges between Rs 1000 to Rs 5000, depending on the manufacturer about the cost of the vaccine.

Pneumonial Polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is meant for adults and it provides little protective immunity in infants or children.

doctor giving baby Vaccine i

When to Give Pneumococcal Vaccine?

Doctors recommend that all young children below the age of 2 should take this vaccine. There are 4 doses prescribed at the following stages:

  • At 2 Months of Age
  • 4 Months of Age
  • 6 Months of Age
  • 12 Months to 15 Months of Age

Just in case a dose is missed, it is best to speak to the child specialist and take the dose according to what is prescribed.

Vaccine Recommended for Certain Health Conditions:

The vaccine is also recommended for babies or children who have certain health conditions like:

  • They have had a Cochlear Implant
  • There is a Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak
  • Have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS
  • In the case of Sickle Cell Disease
  • Damaged Spleen or no Spleen
  • Are suffering from diseases like Diabetes, Cancer, or Liver disease

mother holding sick baby and checking temperature in thermometer

Side Effects of the Vaccine:

Being a parent comes with multiple responsibilities, where you need to take care of your infant and keep track of their vaccination. Also, you need to check allergies in your infant, about which you can consult with the doctor before the dosages. However, the baby may have some side effects after the vaccination:

  • Mild fever
  • Appetite may not be as normal
  • Fussiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Non-Continuous Sleep
  • Redness or Swelling at the Spot

If the fever persists or symptoms like convulsions occur, seek the help of your medical practitioner immediately.

Pneumococcal vaccine for babies is crucial to help build a better defense system. And therefore, parents should consult their pediatrician about the doses and time gaps but should not miss out on it, to ensure a good healthy future for the baby.

Read Also: Rotavirus Vaccine In Babies : All You Need to Know

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