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Ask Dr. Sue - Updates on a New Vaccine, TB Screening, and Inclusion of Children with Special Needs

by Susan S. Aronson, MD
September/October 2000
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/ask-dr.-sue-updates-on-a-new-vaccine-tb-screening-and-inclusion-of-children-with-special-needs/5013578/

New Vaccine Prevents Pneumonia and Meningitis in Children Under Two Years of Age

A new vaccine, called the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, has joined the list of routine immunizations that children should receive before two years of age. Given with the other injections at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12-15 months of age, this vaccine prevents some of the meningitis and pneumonia that occurs in young children.

As more germs become resistant to antibiotics, vaccines that teach the body how to resist serious infections are our best weapons. The growing number of vaccines young children receive may seem to be a lot of immune system stimulation. Actually, the body's immune system is routinely stimulated by exposure to a much larger number of infectious organisms in the natural environment.

Many types of pneumococcus organisms can cause disease. Some of the most troublesome types are covered by the new vaccine. Research suggests that children in child care have a two- to threefold greater risk of serious pneumococcal infections than those who are cared for only at home. Therefore, child care providers have a special interest in making sure that all children under two years of age get this new vaccine. For children over two ...

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