Prevnar 13 Vaccine Information
Prevnar 13TM (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) is a vaccine given routinely to infants and toddlers. It provides protection against 13 different types of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that can cause meningitis, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and other conditions. The vaccine works by "tricking" the body into thinking it has been exposed to the bacteria. The body then produces antibodies that will help fight the bacteria if future exposure occurs.
Because it protects against 13 types of S. pneumoniae bacteria, Prevnar 13 is considered a "new-and-improved" version of Prevnar, an older vaccine that protected against only seven types. Prevnar 13 is typically given as one to four separate injections, with the first dosage generally given at two months of age.
To make sure this vaccine is right for your child, the healthcare provider will need up-to-date information on your child's current health conditions and medications before administering Prevnar 13. As with most medications, side effects are possible. Commonly reported reactions include tenderness and swelling at the injection site.
(For more information, click Prevnar 13. This article offers a complete overview of the vaccine, with details on how it is administered, safety issues to keep in mind, what to discuss with your child's healthcare provider, and more.)