New AAP Recommendation for Pneumococcal Vaccine for At-Risk Children
Streptococcus pneumonia infections are still one of the major causes of meningitis, sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia, ear infections, and sinus infections in the world. Those who are immuno-compromised (think HIV, cancer therapy, immune deficiencies), and those with sickle cell disease or no spleen should now get protection from both the Prevnar 13 and the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPS23).
Most children who are vaccinated have received the series of Prevnar 13 by age 12 months. If you have not completed the Prevnar 13 series by age two, you only need one of these vaccines to have full protection. This should now be given up to the age to 18 for high risk children, not just to age 6 as in the past. Only the high risk children need to get the PPS23 and it should be given at least 8 weeks after the Prevnar 13, if you are doing both.
Remember that the Prevnar vaccine contains aluminum, so if your child has special vulnerabilities to aluminum or other reasons to avoid vaccines, you need to weigh the risks and benefits.
You can learn more about the AAP recommendations here…