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We know you would do everything to keep your baby safe and healthy. Babies are at higher risk of developing certain diseases as their immune system is not fully developed1. Find out more so that you can make informed decisions for your baby.

 

Did you know that your baby may be more at risk than other age groups of developing pneumococcal disease2?


Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, of which there are over 90 different strains3. These can cause different infections ranging from mild to severe, including4:

 

Meningitis

Bacteraemia (blood poisoning)

Pneumonia

Otitis media (ear infections)

 

Pneumococcal disease can be invasive or non-invasive. Invasive disease is an infection occurring in the blood or major organs e.g. meningitis. The non-invasive disease occurs outside of these areas and tends to be less serious3 e.g. otitis media (ear infections).

Many people may not have heard of pneumococcal disease. The incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease has dropped since the introduction of pneumococcal vaccination into the infant NHS Vaccination Schedule in 20064. An estimated 40,000 cases of the invasive disease were prevented in England and Wales in the first 11 years of the programme5.

Pneumococcal disease can be serious; it can lead to hospitalisation6 and even death7. Around 32% of those who contract pneumococcal meningitis experience long-term symptoms such as visual impairment and seizures7.

Vaccination against pneumococcal disease is recommended for babies from two months of age to help protect against pneumococcal infections. Three doses are given as part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule.4

 

To find out more, talk to your healthcare professional or visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pneumococcal-vaccination/

 


  1. Family Doctor. Repeated Infections in Children. Available via: https://familydoctor.org/condition/repeated-infections-in-children/ 
    [Accessed: June 2018] 
  2. NHS Choices. Who should have the pneumococcal vaccination. Available via: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pneumococcal-vaccination/ 
    [Accessed: June 2018]
  3. NHS Choices. Pneumococcal infections. Available via: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pneumococcal-infections/
    [Accessed: June 2018]
  4. Public Health England. The Green Book [2018], Chapter 25: Pneumococcal. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pneumococcal-the-green-book-chapter-25
    [Accessed: June 2018]
  5. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Draft Meeting Minutes. October 2017. Available via: https://app.box.com/s/iddfb4ppwkmtjusir2tc/file/247634612957
    [Accessed: June 2018]
  6. Pneumococcal infections – Treatment. Available via: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pneumococcal-infections/treatment/
    [Accessed: June 2018]
  7. Jit, M. (2010). The risk of sequelae due to pneumococcal meningitis in high-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Infection, 61(2), pp.114-124.