13-valent Conjugate Vaccine
ABOUT THE DISEASE AND BACTERIA
Pneumonia belongs to respiratory tract infection. It can be caused by bacteria, virus or fungi. Streptococcus pneumoniae (or commonly referred as pneumococcus) is one of the main causative agent. There are more than 90 different serotypes of pneumococci and only about 30 of them can infect human beings. Clinically, around 10 of them are commonly diagnosed (1). This bacteria can be transmitted through coughing and droplets. Besides, intimate contact or touching of things that containing this bacteria can be a mean of transmission too.
Symptoms of pneumococcal infection can be alike to symptoms of influenza, including fever, breathing difficulty, chills and productive cough. Chest discomfort and neck stiffness may also appear. The infection can also result in severe illnesses, including sinus or middle ear infection, invasive pneumococcal respiratory disease, sepsis and meningitis. It can further induce other complications and can be fatal.
All people can be infected with pneumococci. High risks groups include people aged below 5 years old and above 65 years old, patients with chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, spleen problems, liver and kidney diseases etc.), smoking, alcoholism, history of pneumococci infection, immune insufficiencies (including people undergoing chemotherapy or on long-term steroids, HIV patients) and cochlear implant.
World Health Organization (WHO) states that there are 1.6 million death each year worldwide resulted from pneumococci infection (2). Increasing drug resistance bothers a lot in recent years and makes medical treatment toward infections more challenging. WHO advises that vaccination is the best way to effectively prevent such infection against pneumococci. In addition, maintaining good air ventilation, personal health and personal and environmental hygiene are essential.
ABOUT THE VACCINATION
Prevenar 13® is a 13-valent conjugate vaccine against 13 serotypes of pneumococci – 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F. Study shows that conjugate vaccine is more ideal in inducing human antibodies (1).
Infants aged above 6 months old can receive this vaccine – a program of 4 doses – to obtain earliest protection. Other people aged 2 years old and above only require 1 dose. Side effects are usually mild, including pain, redness and swelling of the injection site, fatigue and low-grade fever. For severe discomfort, please seek for medical consultation as soon as possible.
For further enquiries or bookings for vaccination, please contact us (+852) 2779 8388.