The WHO estimates that globally Streptococcus pneumonia kills close to 500,000 children under 5 years annually. That’s a HUGE number. And that’s just children UNDER FIVE.
S. pneumonia can cause diseases such as pneumonia. meningitis, and bacteremia. (Refer to graphic below.) These are diseases that put babies and children in the hospital.
I’ve been hospitalized twice for pneumonia and I can’t imagine having to watch my child or any child go through such pain and suffering.
We do have a vaccine to help protect from this disease. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV)–there are two versions–have had clear public health benefits. Not only does it reduce the invasive disease in vaccinated children, but also in elderly adults who benefit from herd immunity.
Coverage is increasing globally, but it’s nowhere near optimal vaccination rates.
Most of these child deaths occur in developing countries where they do not yet have access to vaccines.
It has to do with handling and storage. Many vaccines need to be kept cold to be stable and effective. Many developing areas don’t have the resources needed to keep our cold-chain vaccines cold during transportation and in storage.
Also, the high cost of vaccines is a giant problem. How very unfortunate that this has to be a problem.
Research is currently underway to create better ways to transport these vaccines. They need to be able to make it to remote places and remain stable and effective. This means they need to do-away with the cold chain and reduce the cost.
(Deep sigh over here.) Guys. There are people declining these vaccines that are sitting in refrigerators in cold labs at their doctor’s offices and that are covered by our insurance companies or our government. And there are people coming into developed countries begging to be vaccinated because they’ve seen the trauma caused by these diseases. They aren’t able to be vaccinated in the places of their origin.
If you are able to sit and read this today you most likely live in a place where you can vaccinate your child to protect them from these dangerous diseases.
A vaccine is only useful if it’s administered.
Herd Immunity only works when the vast majority of a community is vaccinated.
YOU can protect our babies, our children, our elderly from this potentially-deadly disease when you choose to vaccinate.
When your child is offered a vaccine he is being given a gift–a gift many people across this world of ours can only dream of.
CDC recommended PVC vaccine schedule: 2mo, 4mo, 6mo, 12-15mo, 65years
sources: CDC, NIH