Pneumococcal infection - vaccination. Vaccination against pneumococcal infection in children - reviews
Few people know, but the bacterium Streptoccocus pneumoniae - the source of pneumococcal infection - is a priori a component of the natural microflora of the upper respiratory tract. This "aborigine", which from time immemorial lives in the human body, does not have a uniform appearance - large-scale studies conducted by WHO have revealed more than 80 subspecies of the pathogen. Moreover, as the scientists note, the lion's share of the “large family” is microorganisms prone to mutation. Simply put, getting into certain conditions, the “dormant” representative of the microflora acquires pronounced features of the pathogenic aggressor, as a result of which the pneumococcal infection develops. The factors provoking a multi-level mutation abound. One of them is unjustified use of antibiotics (self-treatment).
Why do I need vaccination?
The common opinion that vaccination against pneumococcal infection is nothing more than a preventive measure aimed at improving the defensive abilities of the body, is close to the truth, but does not reflect all the realities of reality. Disease prevention is not the only goal of vaccination. Sometimes these activities are aimed at obtaining a health effect in terms of the functional imbalance of the immune system. So, in particular, vaccination against pneumococcal infection for children (reviews of relevant specialists on this topic are categorical and boil down to the fact that sensible parents are simply obliged to monitor the schedule of vaccination of their children), despite the history of episodes characteristic of this disease. Moreover, frequent complications in the work of the respiratory organs also cannot be regarded as a contraindication to the procedure, because regular inflammatory reactions are a sign that the natural protection program has failed and needs a “reset”.
The vaccine against pneumococcal infection just plays the role of that “driver diskette”.Its timely use provides an acceptable result, which manifests itself in the form of:
- reducing the duration of exacerbations against the background of a general reduction of risks regarding the development of severe forms;
- reducing the number of diagnoses with the wording "ARD";
- inhibit the activity of pathogens.
Root causes of the disease
Self-treatment, which has become so widespread in the broad masses, leads to uncontrolled and continuous mutation of microbes. But even strict adherence to the dogmas of traditional science should not be regarded as a panacea for a terrible disease. Practicing doctors, professors, academicians are increasingly finding evidence that the pneumococcal infection, and behind this definition, I must say, hiding dozens of unpleasant diagnoses, has evolving cellular "intelligence" and an excellent gene memory.
Otitis and meningitis, which responded well to treatment 20 years ago, is often used as a fame of problematic diseases: old antibiotics gradually cease to act on pathogens, while resistance to microbes is rapidly developing.If we consider that about 1.5 billion active carriers reside on the planet, in the body of which there are several types of the pathogen mentioned at once, then a not very bright prospect of the near future emerges.
The specific structure of the bacterium needs to be taken as an additional threat: its polysaccharide capsule so skillfully adapts to the current situation that, over a period of several months, a one-time vaccination against pneumococcal infection in children (reviews confirm this thesis) does not fully help - systemic injections are needed. Refusal of vaccination according to a predetermined schedule leads to the fact that children under the age of two years are at the mercy of pathogens. And the probability of complicated relapses in such conditions is extremely high.
Pneumococcal infection "migrates" by airborne droplets. Therefore, any accumulation of people (including school and kindergarten teams) can be considered as a factor of increased risk. In an atypical environment, for example, in a room with polluted air, “sleeping” pathogens, as a rule, cease to behave friendly,and begin a campaign to develop the lungs - mutated bacilli from the nasopharynx move into the depths of the respiratory system, causing inflammation of the peripheral microflora. However, such a scenario is also possible due to objective reasons: overcooling of the body, reduced immunity, and the like.
Pneumococcal infection: symptoms and course of the disease
The most at-risk group is primarily children under the age of 5 and elderly people with poor health. From the moment the disease reaction starts (by the way, a person can be a distributor of microbes for several years, but it feels great) until the first symptoms are detected, an average of 24 to 72 hours pass. At the same time, pulmonary pneumonia, otitis media and purulent meningitis are most often diagnosed in young patients. Endocarditis and arthritis, as well as sepsis as a result of the stormy activity of bacilli, are more characteristic of adults. The vaccine against pneumococcal infection is designed to suppress the vital activity of microbes not only of this group - it also affects viruses that are "organizers" of inflammatory processes in systems that are not associated with the maintenance of respiratory function.
The primary identification of the disease is carried out on the basis of the presence of cough and its form: at the initial stage, there is a prolonged dry, but after 1-2 days it is transformed into spasmodic sensations with expectorant effect. Chest pain, shortness of breath, or shortness of breath can also be classified as signs of uncharacteristic activation of the bacteria. In order to make sure that we are not talking about the pre-infarction condition, we analyze the structure of sputum: pneumococcal infection (vaccination from it, by the way, is not mandatory in all countries) is accompanied by the release of an unnatural white mass, sometimes with blood patches. With the acute development of the disease in infants, there are sometimes prolonged convulsions and minute loss of consciousness. In addition, it has been reliably established that pneumococcal otites are among the most common causes of hearing impairment in patients of younger age group. However, we must understand that the critical forms of the disease as a natural result of late vaccination (or its absence) can cause not only complete deafness, but also a partial slowdown of the child’s mental development.
In general, the disease is associated with a general weakness of the body, an increase in temperature and a certain dysfunction of the respiratory and digestive systems.
Vaccination against pneumococcal infection: recommended vaccination schedule
In each individual country, the vaccination regime is set based on the current situation. For example, in the Russian Federation, the pneumococcal threat is fought in this way:
- children under the age of 6 months are vaccinated in four stages - on the 90th, 135th and 180th day of life, plus a control injection after 270 days;
- if it was not possible to withstand the specified rhythm for any reason, then the schedule is adjusted so that in the period of 6-24 months 2 vaccinations are given at a given interval (at least 60, but not more than 180 days);
- In children older than two years, the vaccine is administered once.
The vaccination regime is not only tied to the date of birth of the patient, but also to a specific drug. Say, the popular vaccine against pneumococcal infection “Prevenar” is used when it comes to stimulating the production of antibodies in the optimal mode, that is, starting from two months of age.The alternative variant - “Pneumo-23” - is not appointed until the moment when the child is two years old.
In the post-Soviet space, vaccination against pneumococcal infection is most often carried out using the above-mentioned vaccines. These reagents cannot be considered as antidotes, which guarantee 100% protection, because the meeting of the organism with the mutated microbe is only a matter of time (even if all safety measures are followed). However, it is vaccinations that allow preparing vital systems for an “undesirable rendezvous” and minimizing the effects of the pathogen aggression.
Prevenar is a US-made drug that is a 7-valent conjugated vaccine for intramuscular administration and is responsible for accelerating the rate of formation of the immunological memory. The multiplicity of its use is dictated by the patient's age. The most balanced children's schedule was given in the previous section of the article; as for adults, they are recommended one-time vaccination after 50 years.
"Pneumo-23" - a drug from France.It has the same polysaccharide structure as Prevenar, but is approved for use only from the age of two. Its characteristic feature is a rapidly advancing therapeutic effect: after the injection, the lower part of the respiratory tract is reorganized to detect colonies of pathogenic microbes while simultaneously suppressing the excessive activity of potentially dangerous pathogens. As shown by the results of research, the French vaccine against pneumococcal infection can significantly reduce the level of the pronounced carriage of bacteria, that is, to prevent the large-scale spread of antibiotic-resistant bacilli.
Uncharacteristic reactions to vaccination
Some special preparatory procedures for the injection does not provide. The only thing that experienced doctors emphasize is that you should not experiment with food on the eve of a trip to the clinic (this rule is equally true for both children and adults).
Vaccination against pneumococcal infection in the overwhelming majority of cases does not find a visible response in response from the body — an injection as an injection.But sometimes at the point of contact of the needle with the skin, redness may occur, and in very young patients the temperature may rise slightly. Among other atypical reactions are chills, unreasonable irritability, lethargy.
Vaccination against pneumococcal infection does not include the imposition of any patches or compresses (even with a dotted redness of living tissue); The injection site itself must not be treated with antiseptics. According to many parents, all the side effects of the drug should be simply waited, that is, to devote more time to distracting fun and entertainment, so that the child less focused on discomfort (when the situation worsens, of course, you should immediately seek medical help).
Contraindications for vaccination
Vaccination against pneumococcal infection in children is not recommended if they have:
- non-standard body temperature is observed (low or high);
- any disease has been diagnosed (even not related to the profile of the drug being administered);
- exacerbated chronic ailments.
There are situations when uncharacteristic reactions appear after the second or third injection — then another procedure is postponed until the cause of the allergy is ascertained.
It is important to remember that vaccination against pneumococcal infection (responses of ordinary users and comments of reputable doctors in this regard are absolutely the same) is strictly forbidden at the slightest suspicion of individual intolerance to its components.
Are critical complications of vaccination possible?
Exact adherence to the requirements of the instructions virtually eliminates the likelihood of irreversible complications. Yes, sometimes there is information in the media that a vaccine against pneumococcal infection in children can do more harm than good. However, such "essays" are contrary to the results of many years of clinical research and, when examined in detail, do not hold water.
The statement that a certified drug is able to become a catalyst for pathogenic reactions and thus provoke infection is generally absurd, since there is no live microbes in any vaccine.
Myth of self-healing
The phrase from the category “Let the body of our baby learn better to fight viruses and bacteria” has been repeatedly heard by many pediatricians. Moreover, the course to self-healing is often taken by adult patients with extensive life experience, who, it would seem, should understand that vaccination against pneumococcal infection (Komarovsky - “All-Union Doctor” - believes that the very question of the appropriateness of vaccination is illogical) Significantly increases the chances of winning in a confrontation with a cunning "mutant".
Alas, blindly adhering to the principle of “maybe carrying it through” is fraught with serious problems, even a fatal outcome.
Some facts from the vaccine history
The exact "photofit" of the microbe was able to make back in 1881. However, the first successful vaccination against pneumococcal infection (reviews and comments on this topic can be found on special specialized medical forums) was made only in the second half of the last century. The main difficulty faced by the inventors is the “phantom structure” of a potentially dangerous bacterium (at present, 84 pathogens are known).
The evolution of the vaccine took place in several stages. Initially (from 1977 to 1981), the 14-valent model of the reagent was used, which, due to its low efficiency, was soon replaced with a 23-valent analog. However, even with its appearance, the younger group of patients still remained vulnerable, and there was nothing for pharmaceutical companies to do but how to continue research.
In 2000, production of conjugated vaccines of a new generation was launched, which made it possible to remove the issue of the vulnerability of children from the agenda (we are talking about the age category up to two years).