Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine underutilized, experts say

According to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is not being given to kids as often as it should.
The researchers analyzed data from an effectiveness evaluation that was put in place to ascertain the number of cases of invasive pneumococcal disease in children who had not been vaccinated with Prevnar 13, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. The results showed that many children are not receiving the vaccine, even though the vaccine is recommended by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Third Age reports.
The researchers published the study in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
"Vaccine providers should administer a supplemental dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to all children ages 14 (months) to 59 months who have received an age-appropriate pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 7 series, complete the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 7 series with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 for children who have not completed the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 7 series and ensure that younger children who have not had any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 7 receive the full pneumococcal conjugate vaccine 13 primary series," the report said, UPI reports.
According to the CDC, pneumococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria known as pneumococcus, which attacks various parts of the body and leads to meningitis, pneumonia, and ear and sinus infections. The vaccine has been licensed and recommended for children in the United States since February 2010.