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Medical News & Perspectives
November 24, 1999

New Vaccine Targets Childhood Pneumonia

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JAMA. 1999;282(20):1905-1906. doi:10.1001/jama.282.20.1905-JMN1124-2-1

San Francisco—The first experimental pneumococcal vaccine designed for young children—Prevenar (Wyeth-Lederle, Philadelphia)—appears to substantially reduce childhood cases of pneumonia, according to a new study aired here at a recent meeting of infectious disease experts.

The vaccine is a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that targets the seven strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae that are responsible for 85% of bacterial pneumonia in children, explained Steven Black, MD, of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, Calif, who reported the results of the new study. The pneumococcal vaccine currently recommended for people over age 65 is formulated against other strains of the bacterium.

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