Pneumococcal Vaccine - Prevnar 13
By Dr. Brown
What is Prevnar 13?
Prevnar 13 is a vaccine to prevent illness from 13 different strains of streptococcal (Strep pneumococcus) bacteria. While there are over 90 different types of Strep, these 13 represent the majority of severe Strep illness.
Strep pneumococcus can cause blood infections, pneumonia, meningitis, and ear infections. We actually have seen a decrease in ear infections since the immunization has been recommended!
Who should get the Prevnar 13?
This should be given to all children over 6 weeks through 5 years of age. There are usually 4 doses given, typically at 2 months, 4 months, 6 month and between 12-18 months of age.
High risk children up to age 6 years of age should get a dose if they have Sickle Cell Disease, no spleen, Cochlear implants, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, chronic lung or hear disease or on immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
Expected side effects include soreness of the site the shot is given and low grade fever to 102 degrees.
Statistics for effectiveness of Prevnar 13 are impressive. There has been a 70-80 % decrease in admissions to hospitals for Strep (Pneumococcal) bacterial illnesses like meningitis and pneumonias since 2000 when it was FDA approved! There has also been a 7% decrease in ear infections.
To read more, click on the link to the official Vaccine Information Sheet from the CDC.