Pneumococcal vaccination to protect against six more strains

Six more strains of pneumococcal bacteria will be covered by a new vaccine being introduced in the UK's childhood immunisation programme.

Doctor holding a phial containing a solution of the  pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar (Photograph: DR P. MARAZZI/SPL)
Doctor holding a phial containing a solution of the pneumococcal vaccine Prevenar (Photograph: DR P. MARAZZI/SPL)

The current vaccine protects against seven strains of pneumococcal bacteria, but Wyeth's Prevenar 13, which protects against a further six strains, will be introduced into the programme this spring.

The new vaccine will follow the same three-dose schedule, with vaccinations at two, four and 13 months.

Parents whose infants are due to have their jabs should not delay vaccinating their children, the DoH said.

Professor David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the DoH, said parents do not need to take any action, except continuing to have their children vaccinated as normal.

'Every day counts when it comes to protecting children against these diseases,' he said.

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