PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINE – INTRODUCTION
This vaccine protects against disease caused by pneumococcus(streptococcus pneumoniae) bacteria.
These germs live in the mucous lining of the nose and in the back of the throat, and when in plenty they can cause infection in the respiratory tract, middle ear or sinus cavities.
It primarily strikes children under the age of 5 years and can lead to some of the worst childhood diseases. Though antibiotics such as penicillin can kill the offending bacteria, up to 40 percent of its strains may be resistant to antibiotics.
The clinical features include:
- fever and chills with shaking
- chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing
- rapid heart rate
- fatigue and weakness
- occasionally nausea, vomiting and headache
The pneumococcal vaccine can even prevent some of the most serious ear infections, meningitis, pneumonia and blood infections among children.
Mode of spread: It is transmitted by coughing, sneezing, eventalking, and diseases such as meningitis and pneumonia can crop up within days of infection.