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What is this new immunization my doctor wants to give my baby? My last child didn't get it, should he?

In July 2000 the Centers for Disease Control recommended that the pneumococcal vaccine (also called Prevnar) be added to the list of required vaccinations. This vaccine was developed initially to prevent deadly forms of menigococcal meningitis. In the large-scale research trials it was discovered that it also resulted in fewer ear infections, the most common reason for a trip to the doctor for infants. The vaccine is administered as a shot at 2, 4 and 6 months of life with a booster shot between 12 and 18 months. It has been shown to have mild side effects such as swelling at the injection site and fussiness.

If you have an older child, your doctor will give the vaccine but fewer total doses if your child is under 2 years of age or if they are at high risk for ear infections. A research study that was just published has confirmed the reduction of these infections even in children who only received one dose.


Donna Dixon, former HES Extension Associate, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension


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Last update: Tuesday, November 25, 2008




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