Why does my child need vaccinations?

When your baby is born, his/her immune system is not fully developed. The immune system is the body’s natural defense system that fights off infections. The ability of the body to resist an infection is called immunity.

Vaccines protect against infections by working with the body to help develop immunity to diseases.

Childhood vaccinations protect against many serious diseases, so it’s important to make sure your child receives routine vaccinations at the recommended ages. Diseases that can be prevented by vaccines include chickenpox, diphtheria, Hib, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, meningitis, mumps, whooping cough, polio, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, rubella, and tetanus.

The pneumococcal vaccination

Pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-ul] disease is caused by pneumococcal germs (bacteria). There are over 90 different types of pneumococcal germs. They can cause infections of the lungs (pneumonia), brain (meningitis), blood (bacteremia) and ears (otitis).

Pneumococcal disease is often mild (ear infections for example) but can be serious (pneumonia for example). Children younger than 2 years old are at higher risk of having a serious case of pneumococcal disease.

Doctors recommend approved pneumococcal vaccines as a way to protect children against pneumococcal disease. These vaccines provide protection against up to 13 types of pneumococcal germs. But could we expand this protection?

With the help of vaccine research studies, an investigational vaccine is being evaluated to find out if it can provide protection against 20 types of pneumococcal germs.

To find more information on pneumococcal disease, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/index.html

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