The pneumococcal bacterium causes a range of illnesses known as pneumococcal disease. In small children, the elderly, and persons with chronic illnesses, these infections can cause significant sickness.
As a result, plenty of people often tends to consider getting vaccinated against pneumococcal illness.
In the United States, there are two different forms of pneumococcal vaccinations. Both forms of these vaccines have been known to be quite safe and effective in preventing pneumococcal illness. As we already listed here are two vaccines available to protect children from it and they are: PCV13 and PPSV23.
PCV13 is the only vaccine that is very much considered to be safe for children under the age of two. Because newborn babies and young children are at a much higher risk for various severe illnesses, including some such as pneumonia and bacterial meningitis. Yes, this vaccine is critical. Some older children may also additionally require PCV13 treatment.
PPSV23, the second vaccination, has been available for over 30 years now and is recommended for children aged 2 and above. It provides complete protection against 23 different pneumococcal bacteria.
Here is some important information that you need to know about these vaccines to assist you to make educated decisions about how to safeguard your children’s and your health.
The pneumococcal vaccine, like all other vaccines, can cause negative effects too. The negative effects, on the other hand, are usually minor and go away within a few days. Side effects vary depending on which vaccine is given to people, but the most prevalent side effects of the pneumococcal vaccine are redness or discomfort at the injection site, mild fever, exhaustion, and headache.
What is a pneumococcal illness, and how does it affect you?
As we already know Streptococcus pneumonia is a type of bacteria that is the main cause of pneumococcal illness. It is most frequent in the youngsters, but it can also have serious consequences in older persons or those with chronic illnesses. The pneumococcal bacterium is very much infectious, which means it can spread from person to person. This is mostly caused by direct contact with respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus. A pneumococcal infection can result in several complications, some of which are life-threatening too. Pneumococcal infections can lead to the following complications:
- Infections of the sinuses and the middle ear (otitis media)
- Infections in the bloodstream (bacteremia)
The pneumococcal illness causes more than 6,000 deaths in the United States each year. Adults who should have been vaccinated but did not, according to CDC recommendations, account for more than half of the deaths.
Infection with the pneumococcus bacterium causes around 480 instances of meningitis and 4,000 cases of bacteremia or other invasive infections in children under the age of five each year. The absence of some of the characteristic symptoms of meningitis and pneumonia in very young children is a serious problem, making this disease quite difficult to diagnose.
Is it safe to take both pneumococcal vaccines?
Both these immunizations are completely safe. There is always the risk of having a significant problem, such as an allergic response, with any medicine. The risk of serious damage or death is extremely low with PCV (the vaccine recommended for young children) and PPSV (the vaccine recommended for adults and older children).
There have been no mild or severe responses in tests involving approximately 60,000 doses of the PCV vaccination. The severity of mild side effects completely varies based on the vaccine. The side effects usually subside after a few days.
The PCV13 vaccine may cause redness or discoloration, discomfort, or swelling at the injection site, as well as minor fever and chills, headache\ drowsiness, or even irritation and a loss of appetite.
The following are some of the potential negative effects of the PPSV23 vaccine. They can vary from having a moderate temperature, muscular aches, and pains (myalgia), weariness, headache, redness or coloring, discomfort, and swelling at the injection site.
One in every two persons who receive the PPSV vaccine gets redness or soreness near the injection site. A more serious reaction, such as a fever or muscle aches, affects less than 1% of people.
When and to whom should the pneumococcal vaccine be given?
The PCV7 vaccine, which protected against seven strains of pneumococcal bacteria, has been replaced by the PCV13 vaccine, which protects against thirteen strains. PCV13 should be the final installment of a PCV series that began with PCV7. All children 14–59 months who have received an age-appropriate series of PCV7 and all children 60–71 months with underlying medical disorders who have received an age-appropriate series of PCV7 should receive a single additional dose of PCV13.
For the following children, the PCV vaccination is recommended:
All newborns under the age of 24 months should receive four doses of the vaccine, the first of which should be given at the age of two months. The next two doses should be given at 4 and 6 months, respectively, with a final booster at 12 to 15 months. Children who do not receive their vaccine within these times should still receive it. The number of dosages and intervals between them will be determined by the child’s age.
Healthy children aged 2 to 4 years who have not had all four vaccination doses should also get one dose.
PPSV is recommended for:
Anyone aged 2 to 64 who smokes or has asthma, as well as anyone aged 2 to 64 who is receiving medicine or treatment that impairs the immune system, should get the PPSV vaccine. Long-term steroid use, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy are examples.
Additionally, everyone between the ages of 2 and 64 who has one of the following (or comparable) immune-system-related health disorders should be vaccinated with PPSV:
- Hodgkin’s disease is a type of cancer that affects the immune system.
- Leukemia or lymphoma
- renal disease
- Nephrotic syndrome in multiple myeloma
- Infection with HIV, AIDS-related spleen damage, or no spleen organ transplant
- illness of the heart
- illness of the lungs
- sickle cell anemia
- Cirrhosis causes cerebrospinal fluid leakage.
- implanted cochlea
Adults aged 65 and up should now have both the PCV13 and PPSV23 vaccines. Depending on what immunizations you have had before, the time and sequencing of the shots will differ.
Is there a risk of major adverse effects?
The pneumococcal vaccine can cause a major allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in adults and children, but this is extremely rare. Allergic responses to vaccines are quite uncommon. They are estimated to occur in about 1 in 1 million doses, according to the CDC. Symptoms of a severe adverse reaction usually appear soon after the vaccine is administered. Breathing problems, wheezing, a fast heart rate, feeling dizzy or as if you are about to pass out clammy skin worry, or a sense of dread, are examples of severe symptoms.
If you or your kid experiences any of these symptoms after receiving a vaccination, seek medical help right away.
Identifying side effects in infants
The PCV13 pneumococcal vaccine is recommended by the CDC for newborn babies. This is administered in four doses.
The first dose is administered at the age of two months. The following doses are administered at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months.
Following PCV13 vaccination, common adverse effects in newborns include:
Irritation or fussiness, tenderness, redness, discoloration, or swelling at the injection site, as well as a loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, drowsiness or sleepiness, a low-grade fever, etc.
Serious adverse effects, such as a high temperature, convulsions, or a skin rash, can occur on a very infrequent basis. If you observe any of these symptoms, contact your child’s pediatrician right once.
What to do if your child becomes ill after receiving a vaccine?
It is quite likely that your child will feel ill after receiving a pneumococcal vaccine dosage. If this happens, there are certain things you may do to make them feel better. If your child has a fever, keep them as cold as possible. You can achieve this by giving them cool liquids to drink and making sure they are not overdressed. A cool compress can help with tenderness, redness, discoloration, and swelling at the injection site. To do so, dampen a clean washcloth in cool water and gently apply it over the affected area. Fever and soreness at the injection site can be relieved with over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin). Use the infant formulation and follow the dosing instructions on the product label carefully.
Children, the elderly, and other people with chronic illnesses are all at risk of contracting pneumococcal disease, which can be very fatal. To protect against pneumococcal illness, two vaccinations are available. The vaccine given is determined by the age and health status of the person getting it. The vaccine’s side effects are usually minor and go away after a few days. A severe allergic reaction can develop in extremely uncommon circumstances.
Consult your doctor to determine which pneumococcal vaccine is best for you or your child.
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