Immunize Against Infections
Kids began receiving the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, Prevnar, in 2000 to help fight the most common strains of pneumococcus, the bacteria responsible for up to half of bacterial ear infections as well as more serious infections such as meningitis. Since the vaccine's availability, studies have shown that there's been up to a 20 percent decrease in doctor visits for ear infections," says Pekka Nuorti, M.D., a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new formulation of Prevnar that includes the drug-resistant 19A strain should be available this year.
Originally published in the January 2010 issue of Parents magazine.