When a child is born, his/her immune system is not fully developed. The immune system is the body’s natural defense system that fights off infections. The ability of the body to resist an infection is called immunity.
Vaccines protect against infections by working with the body to help develop immunity to diseases.
Childhood vaccinations protect against many serious diseases, so it’s important to make sure your child/teen receives routine vaccinations at the recommended ages. Diseases include chickenpox, diphtheria, Hib disease, hepatitis, influenza, measles, meningitis, mumps, whooping cough, polio, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, rubella and tetanus.
The pneumococcal vaccination
Pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-ul] disease is caused by pneumococcal germs (bacteria). There are over 90 different types of pneumococcal germs. They can cause infections of the lungs (pneumonia), brain (meningitis), blood (bacteremia) and ears (otitis). Pneumococcal disease is often mild, but can be serious.
Doctors recommend approved pneumococcal vaccines as a way to protect children/teens against pneumococcal disease. These vaccines provide protection against up to 13 types of pneumococcal germs. But could we expand this protection?
With the help of vaccine research studies, study teams are evaluating an investigational vaccine to find out if it can provide protection against 20 types of pneumococcal germs.