Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know!

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine is a vaccine given to all infants below 5-years of age to protect them from Pneumococcal disease. This vaccine lasts for a total of 3 years. But it primarily protects infants below 2 years as children are much likely to be effected within the first 2 years of their life. It not only saves your children from this disease but also various other infections caused by this disease. So, if you are looking to understand as much as possible about this vaccine, you are at the right place. Keep reading the article to know more.

Why Should My Child Get Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine?

Pneumococcal disease is a serious contagious disease caused by bacteria. This infection is mainly caused by a bacteria named Streptococcus pneumonia. This bacteria is primarily caused in the nose and throat area. As the infection increases, it slowly spreads to other parts of the body.

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

It can affect people of all ages. But the probability of affecting people below 5 years and above 65 is high when compared to all other age groups. There are many ways to get rid of this disease. But one of the simple and easy ways is to get Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine as prevention is always the safest method than cure.   

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine is primarily administered to babies under 2 years of age. This vaccine is quite different from the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, which is given to adults above 65 years. As it is mentioned already, this disease is first caused in the nose and throat, so it doesn’t show any symptoms for the first time.

But as it increases, there are some symptoms to be considered. Some of them are middle ear infection (hearing loss), sinus infection (blocked nose), brain and spinal cord infection (high fever, nausea, vomiting), and joint, bone and lung infections. 

This disease can also lead to other diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, coma, and finally, even death. As it is a contagious disease, it can easily spread to other people too. It can be spread if you breathe when the infected person coughs or sneezes or by kissing the infected person. So, getting a Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine is a pretty serious thing to be considered by every parent for their child.

Vaccine Schedule And Dosage

Children are divided into two different groups while given Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine.

The first group considers all the 2-years old children. All healthy below2-years old infants should take this vaccine in four doses:

  • The first dose is taken at 2 months of age
  • The second dose is taken at 4 months of age
  • The third dose is taken at 6 months of age
  • The fourth dose is taken at 12-15 months of age

The second group consists of all the children between 2-5 years of age. All the children are recommended to take the vaccine during the first 2 years themselves. But, your child should not be given the vaccine at 2-5 years of age due to the following conditions:

  • If your child has sickle cell disease
  • If your child is suffering from a damaged spleen or no spleen
  • If your child is suffering from HIV/AIDS
  • If your child is suffering from diabetes or cancer due to low immunity
  • If your child is taking steroids that affect their immunity

The dosage of this vaccine depends upon the age of the children. You can contact your doctor for exact information.

Things you need to consider

Taking Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine can have some mild side effects in children. Some of them are:

  • Swelling at the place the shot is given
  • Mild fever
  • Tiredness
  • Low Appetite
  • Fussiness
  • Vomiting

Having all the above symptoms is common in all the children who are given this vaccine. You don’t need to worry if your child has these symptoms.

When Is Your Child Not Supposed To Take Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine?

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, like any other medicine, has the chance of causing some serious troubles. But it is rare to face the risk of death or any other serious disease through this vaccine.

The children should wait a long time for the next shot if they were seriously or moderately ill during their previous shot. It is not a big risk if your child is just suffering from a cold. Your child is not recommended to take this vaccine if he/she is seriously allergic to this vaccine for the previous dose taken. Here are some of the symptoms to say that your child is suffering from severe allergies due to this vaccination:

  • Breathing Difficulty
  • Hoarseness
  • Hives
  • Going pale
  • Weakness
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Throat swelling

What Should I Do If My Child Has Any Severe Allergic Reaction?

  • If your child is suffering from some of the serious allergies that are mentioned above, then follow the immediate below steps:
  • The first step that you should do is to contact the child’s doctor, or it is even better if you take your child to the hospital right away.
  • The second step is to explain all that you can about your child’s condition to your doctor. Explain to the doctor about the allergic symptoms your child is facing, the date and time it happened, and the time of the vaccine taken.
  • Later, ask your doctor to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) form or call VAERS contact number 1-800-822-7967 by yourself.

Please don’t hesitate to do all the above-mentioned steps as delay in any of them can sometimes have a chance of causing serious troubles.

Go through the following resources to find more about this vaccine:

  • Contact your doctor or local health department.
  • Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for further help.

Conclusion

Pneumococcal disease is a dangerous disease that can even cause a person’s death. So, it is the responsibility of all the parents to provide their children with Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine. Parents should also constantly know about this vaccine as much as they can so that they can save their children’s life from getting this disease. By doing this, you save not only your child but also yourself and other people’s lives as it is a contagious disease. Don’t hesitate to contact the health department if you have any queries remaining regarding this disease or vaccine.

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