Children Not Vaccinated Against Pneumonia Remain Vulnerable

Many children are not receiving recommended PCV13 doses

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Some children are not receiving the current recommended 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), a replacement for the 7-valent vaccine (PCV7) in all children and a supplement for those aged 14 to 59 months, leaving them susceptible to invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) and death, according to research published in the Nov. 4 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Kathleen Harriman, Ph.D., of the California Department of Public Health in Richmond, and colleagues evaluated data on PCV13 vaccination coverage and the occurrence of PCV13-type IPD cases in children 59 months of age and younger.

The researchers found that only 37 percent of PCV7-vaccinated children received the PCV13 supplemental dose, and that in those 59 months old and younger who should have received additional primary series doses, only 46 percent were given the PCV13 series. Between May 2010 and April 2011, 63 children from 12 different study regions were reported to have IPD preventable by PCV13; most had received the PCV7 vaccine but not the supplemental dose of PCV13.

"Given the potential for missed PCV13 vaccination, health care providers should recommend PCV13 vaccination for all eligible children aged 14 through 59 months during all visits, and continue to ensure receipt of the full PCV13 primary series for younger children," the authors write.

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