Pneumococcal Basics for Kids
The best way to prevent pneumococcal disease is for children to be fully vaccinated on time.
The pneumococcal vaccine protects kids from the seven most common types of pneumococcal disease.
vaccine (Prevnar, PCV13)
The pneumococcal vaccine is required for kids in child care. Find out which other kids should also get the shot.
- Immunization Laws in Minnesota
Immunization requirements for children in child care and school children.
Pneumococcal disease is the most common cause of serious bacterial infections in children, including infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), infection of the blood (bacteremia), and infection of the lungs (pneumonia).
It is also the most common bacterial cause of acute middle ear infections in children, which are the most frequent reason for pediatric office visits in the United States. Children under 2 years of age have the highest rates of pneumococcal disease.
More information on pneumococcal disease from the CDC. Attention: Non-MDH link
Until recently, pneumococcal infections could be treated effectively with antibiotics. Recently, many pneumococcal bacteria are becoming resistant to commonly used antibiotics making treatment more difficult. For this reason, it is desirable to prevent pneumococcal infections through vaccination, rather than depend on antibiotic treatment after infection occurs.