We are following the recent recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics to give the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar 13 or PCV13) that has replaced the seven-valent version of the vaccine, PCV7. This improved Prevnar vaccine protects against the seven serotypes in the older vaccine plus an additional six serotypes to offer protection against a total of 13 serotypes of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia. Streptoccus pneumonia causes ear infections, meningitis and pneumonia in infants and children.
The Prevnar 13 vaccine will be routinely given at the two-, four-, six-, and 12-month checkups. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that a supplemental dose of Prevnar 13 be given to children who have already completed the original Prevnar series. We will be offering the “booster dose” of Prevnar 13 to children as they come in for their well child visits. Children age five and over with certain underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of invasive pneumococcal disease may also need a dose of Prevnar 13.
There are no new side-effects expected from Prevnar 13. If you have any questions, please speak to your doctor or physician assistant.