Ask the Expert: Who should get a Pneumococcal Vaccine?
Why get the pneumococcal vaccine?
The term pneumococcal infection in medicine is understood as a complex of several diseases that have one thing in common - the cause of their appearance is the pneumococcus bacterium. Among these are pneumonia, purulent meningitis, acute otitis media, pleurisy, endocarditis, arthritis. The listed pathologies pose a great danger to the health of adults and children, threaten with complications and irreversible consequences.
As a rule, the activation of this type of bacteria occurs with a decrease in immunity against the background of past diseases, for example, otitis media, measles, flu, and even a common cold. To prevent pneumococcus from causing serious damage to the body, it is recommended to take preventive measures. The best option for the latter is vaccination against pneumococcal infection, which is given to children. Now it is included in the routine vaccination calendar, but parents can refuse it.
When is the vaccine against pneumococcal infections?
Since 2014, such a vaccine has been included in the National Vaccination Schedule of the Russian Federation. Parents can choose between two vaccines: Pneumo-23 , made in France, and Prevenar, made in the USA. Both are effective, highly immunogenic, and rarely cause side effects. But there are some timing differences.
For example, Prevenar can be put on children from 2 months of age, and Pneumo-23 - only from 2 years old. However, studies confirm that there is a high probability of infection with this type of bacteria precisely up to 2 years of age. Accordingly, the new vaccine Prevenar is preferred.
They put it according to the following scheme: 3 months, 4.5 months, 6 months, 1.5 years - revaccination.
Prevenar can be safely combined with vaccines other than BCG. Observing this scheme, the child's immunity will be formed even before he reaches 2 years old. Even if the baby becomes infected, infectious diseases will pass easily and without health consequences. In view of the latter, parents are not advised to refuse vaccination. In addition, adverse reactions to vaccinations are rare.
Children's reaction to pneumococcal vaccine
The vaccine does not cause any special side effects. All negative manifestations that canoccur after injection are typical for all types of vaccinations.
During 2-3 days from the moment of injection, the following conditions may be observed:
- Lump, characteristic redness, painful sensations at the injection site. Children under 2 years of age are injected into the anterolateral surface of the thigh, older babies - into the upper third of the shoulder. The vaccine is administered intramuscularly;
- A slight increase in temperature is extremely rare;
- Drowsiness or, conversely, insomnia, lethargy, irritability, tearfulness, loss of appetite.
The listed negative reactions are quite rare: local - in 5% of cases, temperature - in 1%. In addition, they all pass quickly - within a day.
The doctor must show parents how to properly care for the vaccine injection site, and this applies not only to water procedures. It is also allowed to wet the vaccine. But it is strictly forbidden to smear and treat this area with anything: you cannot use brilliant green, iodine and other antiseptics. Compresses and patches are not recommended.
If the body temperature rises above 38 ° C, it is allowed to give the baby an antipyretic ( Panadol , Nurofen ). If the child becomes more irritable or lethargic, more attention will need to be paid to him.
When the listed negative reactions do not disappear after a day or the baby's condition is further aggravated, it is necessary to urgently consult a pediatrician or call an ambulance.
Vaccine for protection against pneumococcal infection: who is contraindicated?
The big advantage of this vaccination is good tolerance, as well as the minimum number of contraindications. It rarely happens that the baby is postponed for medical reasons. Now children are left unvaccinated mainly because of the refusal of their parents.
Contraindications include the following conditions:
- Individual intolerance, allergy to the components of the drug. This happens quite rarely. If the child reacted very badly to the first injection, subsequent vaccinations are canceled;
- The presence of a disease in the acute period of the course, including a common cold;
- Aggravation of any chronic pathologies;
- Increased body temperature. Even if the thermometer does not exceed 37 ° C, it is necessary to postpone the event until this indicator returns to normal.
The last three contraindications are temporary, that is, the vaccination against pneumococcal infection is postponed until the baby is fully recovered. Your child should be examined by a pediatrician before the injection.
Is the baby sick at the moment, does he have a temperature, how he reacted to the previous vaccination, does he have chronic pathologies, etc.... Only after such a thorough examination does the doctor decide whether to vaccinate or postpone it for some time.
It should be noted that many parents refuse this vaccination, fearing the development of complications. However, the same can be said about other vaccines.
New vaccine - protection against pneumococcal infection: possible complications
As with other types of vaccination, complications in this case are no exception, so you need to be prepared for them. It should be noted that they are quite rare and mostly only in severe forms of allergies and neglect of medical factors. The pediatrician is responsible for the baby's condition at the time of the vaccine administration, so he must take responsibility for identifying health problems in the little patient.
If you do not follow the contraindications, then the likelihood of the following consequences increases:
- Exacerbation of existing chronic diseases;
- Quincke's edema as a severe allergic reaction to one of the components of the drug. In addition to the active substance (polysaccharides), Prevenar contains sodium chloride and aluminum phosphate. Pneumo-23 includes phosphate and sodium chloride, as well as phenol as a preservative;
- A significant increase in body temperature if the child already had a fever when the vaccine was given;
- A sharp deterioration in the state of health in the presence of acute infections.
The listed complications are the most serious of those that can occur with vaccination against pneumococcus. But they are rare. In addition, it is quite possible to avoid such negative consequences by observing contraindications. Both the doctor and the parents should carefully consider the condition of the baby at the time of vaccination and after it.
It should also be noted that refusal to vaccinate has more serious consequences - purulent meningitis, pneumonia, acute otitis media, pleurisy, arthritis and endocarditis.
The listed diseases affect the child's body and health much more severely, cause pain in the chest and other parts of the body, fever, and a significant deterioration in well-being. It is much easier to follow preventive measures than to further treat such diseases for a long time and painfully.
The pneumococcal vaccine is currently one of the most effective, it is a highly effective way to avoid contamination with bacteria and ease the course of the disease if it does appear.