Pneumococcal disease might seem like a mild infection in the beginning but can result in serious health problems. It is caused by a bacteria named Streptococcus pneumoniae. This group of bacteria can attack different parts of your body, including your lungs, brain, and blood. If not vaccinated at the right time, the worst cases can lead to death. It is, in fact, a leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age. So here, our focus is on providing you with the basic information about the age groups that highly need pneumococcal vaccination, especially children.
What is pneumococcal vaccination?
Pneumococcal vaccination protects against pneumococcal disease and its potentially life-threatening complications. The disease can cause pneumonia, meningitis, septicemia, sinusitis, middle ear infections, and so on. Unfortunately, there are often no early symptoms. But as the disease develops, symptoms like fever, chest pain, breathing problems, etc. can occur. So, it’s very important to prevent the spread of pneumococcal infection by using injections on kids.
When should you take your child for pneumococcal vaccination?
Preventing is always better than curing, so before the bacteria even touches your infant’s body, you can keep them away with pneumococcal vaccination. In infants under 2 years of age, the routine pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is given at some intervals. There will be a total of four doses at two, four, six, twelve, and fifteen months, respectively. If your child has grown up but hasn’t received complete doses, you should get them done immediately. Consult a pediatrician for the catch-up vaccination of your child.
Do adults also need the pneumococcal vaccine?
Newborns aren’t the only ones susceptible to pneumococcal disease. Even adults are at risk if they are not vaccinated.
- The major risk after children is old age. People have 65+ years of age. So, it’s important for all adults to receive the vaccine to fight the bacteria.
- People with a weakened immune system or those suffering from another major disease are more susceptible to pneumococcal infection. They should be vaccinated as soon as possible.
- Smoking damages the small hairs that are present inside of the lungs. They are responsible for filtering out germs and keeping your lungs healthier. Your addiction to smoking can play a big role in causing pneumococcal disease.
- Drinkers aren’t safe! People who are badly addicted to alcohol can have a weak immune system. As a result, the white blood cells in their bodies can’t act strongly against pneumococcal bacteria.
- Overcoming a surgery or major illness can have a bad impact on your immune system. If you want it to perform well and protect you against infections, get a pneumococcal vaccination.
Types of Pneumococcal Vaccination
People who are planning to get the pneumococcal vaccine should get shots of both PCV13 and PCV23. Some can even ask doctors for boosters if required. However, you don’t have to worry about the side effects resulting from vaccination.
- PCV13 aids in protecting people from 13 different pneumonia-causing bacteria.
- PPSV23 provides immunity against 23 types of pneumonia bacteria.
Prioritize newborn vaccinations
Vaccinating your new baby is a personal choice. But, keeping your child safe is your priority, so why not make an informed decision related to his vaccination?
My Vaccination Hub will guide you in making the right decision and will provide you with all the vaccination types and schedules. You can use the vaccination tracker available on the site for vaccination. Here, your new born vaccine records can be digitalized and kept track of in real-time.
The platform is a small initiative by GlaxoSmithKline and the primary aims are spreading awareness and educating parents on vaccination.