A recent study conducted on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, administered in childhood to guard against pneumonia, meningitis, and other pneumococcal diseases, has helped reduce hospitalizations among children due to pneumonia.
The Centers for Disease Control has advised that it is important for all U.S. children to get four doses of the vaccine when they turn two. Those children in the age group of 2-5, who have missed out on the vaccine, should take the shot without delay.
The new study shows a 39 percent reduction in pneumonia hospitalizations from 1997 to 2004 for children below 2 years old. The benefits of the vaccine led to lesser hospitalizations, 41,000 less, in comparison with the figures during the initial phase of the vaccine. Adult hospitalizations due to pneumonia dropped to 26 percent from 1997 to 2004, the study demonstrated.
The researchers concluded, "Our results contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting the beneficial effects of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines."