question and answer
Should kids over nine get pneumococcal vaccine?
June 2002
"If Prevnar (heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate) vaccine is indicated for kids from six weeks to nine years, what do we use in older children?" queries TOAN DI NHAN, MD, of Toronto, ON.
Prevnar has been recommended (both in the U.S. and Canada) to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease in children less than two years old, and for high-risk children between two and five. The majority (80%) of invasive pneumococcal infections occur in kids under the age of two -- they're extremely uncommon after nine years of age. In an otherwise healthy child older than nine years, I wouldn't recommend any immunization against pneumococcal infection. On the other hand, I'd recommend one of the (new) conjugated vaccines against meningococcus type C to prevent meningitis in this older age group. MP
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