Pneumococcal disease is caused by various types of bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae that can spread from person to person through close contact.
Most commonly it causes ear infections, but in smaller age groups this can spread and can result in following :
- Pneumonia (Infections of Lungs)
- Septicaemia (Infection in Blood)
- Meningitis (infection of brain and spinal cord )
Repeated Ear infections can lead to hearing loss and other complications. Pneumococcal meningitis can cause deafness and brain damage and risk of life.
Pneumococcal Vaccine is a recommended for all children by Indian Academy of Pediatrics from 6 weeks of age till 5 years age.
There are 3 types of vaccines available in Indian market and all are approved for usage and have a small difference in efficacy when compared with each other.
- Prevnar 13* – Uses 13 types of bacterial antigens and so has a broader coverage
- Synflorix* – Uses 10 types of bacterial antigens
- Pneumosill* – Uses 10 types of bacterial antigens, especially those, which are more common in India.
PCV is routinely given to children at 2, 4, 6, and a booster dose 12-15 months of age.Government of India has also introduced a partial course of this vaccine at centres also.Children who have failed to start the PCV vaccine in first 6 months can still be given this vaccine till age 5 years but for them a little different schedule is followed.
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