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Information on Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccine is used in children who are under 5 years of age for the prevention of various pneumococcal diseases. Children at such a young age are prone to infections that in some cases may even be fatal. The vaccine is also sometimes referred to as Prevnar. The vaccine triggers the production of antibodies by the immune system as soon as it enters the body. The antibodies fight the pneumococcal bacteria but they are not efficient in fighting pneumonia caused by other types of micro organisms. The bacteria known by the name of streptococcus pneumonia commonly causes blood infections, ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis. There are 23 strain of pneumococcal bacteria included in the vaccine. The bacteria can be found in the nose and the throat and once they reach the healthy limits they start triggering the infections which affect the ear, respiratory tract and the central nervous system. All kinds of pneumococcal diseases can be propagated through contact or air. Pneumonia is characterized by symptoms such as shivering, nausea, fever, vomiting, cough, weakness, accelerated heart rate and breathing trouble. Pneumococcal vaccine is recommended by medical practitioners because it is much more efficient that the antibiotics from the penicillin group.

Common Pneumococcal Vaccine Side Effects

Side effects of pneumococcal vaccine are quite a common thing because approximately 40 percent of people experience some of them. Most side effects are minor and they usually resolve on their own in no more than 3 days. Common pneumococcal vaccine side effects may or may not include a rise in body temperature which occurs in more than 15 percent of people. About 2 percent of people commonly experience symptoms such as joint pain, fatigue, weakness and nausea triggered by the pneumococcal vaccine. One third of all people commonly experiences redness at the site of the injection. Some cases have also included a loss of appetite and drowsiness.

Serious Pneumococcal Vaccine Side Effects

Serious pneumococcal vaccine side effects usually occur only in rare cases. Such side effects occur in every 10 millionth person. They occur because antigens from the vaccine trigger the production of antibodies by the immune system so that they can fight the pathogenic microbes. The microbes may get reactivated and cause serious trouble in the body. The vaccine may also be associated with certain allergic reactions which can be characterized by symptoms such as redness, painful sensations and swelling at the affected area, along with swollen glands, fever and skin rash. Other side effects include numbness and tingling sensations.

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