Pneumococcal vaccineThe pneumococcal vaccine was introduced to the baby immunisation schedule in the UK in 2006. The original 7-valent vaccine protected against 75% (three quarters) of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD) in children under 5, with an overall effectiveness of preventing IPD of around 60%. A new expanded 13-valent vaccine was introduced in 2010. This protects against around 90% of IPD in young children, with an overall effectiveness of preventing IPD of over 70%. It is uncertain how long protection from either vaccine lasts, though if given in the first few months of life, a booster dose is advisable during the second year of life. If given between 12 and 23 months of age, then two doses are sufficient; if given over two years of age, only one dose is necessary.
Side effectsThis vaccine causes local reactions, such as pain, redness and swelling more frequently than most other vaccines.
It commonly causes redness (in 32% of children vaccinated); redness over 2.5cm (17%); pain (24%); pain affecting movement (16%); swelling (30%); swelling over 2.5cm (10%). The vaccine also appears to cause occasional episodes of floppy baby (hypotonia) reactions, inconsolable crying and convulsions.
The side-effects caused by the newer 13-valent vaccine appear to be similar to the 7-valent vaccine.
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