If you missed my intro post or the post about the HIB vaccine, then don't forget to go back and read them! If you are all caught up, then get ready for another informative post about the vaccines that are given to our kids! This weeks vaccine is PC.
***Disclaimer: The information about vaccines in this post came from The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. I am in the process of reading the book and I am simply sharing as I learn. I strongly recommend doing your own research before deciding if vaccines are right for your child.***
I don’t know about you, but when Zachariah got his PC vaccine I had no clue what it stood for. Heck, I didn't even know which vaccines he was being given at the time. Call me crazy, but I think that is something the Doctor should have informed me of. Why did I let my son get that vaccine without knowing what it was? Ugh. Oh well. I cant turn back time. But I can figure all of this stuff out now and hopefully be more prepared with my next kid.
Pc stands for Pneumoccal Disease. It is a bacterium that causes a wide range of illnesses, from mild cold symptoms and ear infections to severe pneumonia, blood stream infections and meningitis.
Things you should know about Pc:
It is transmitted like the common cold.
It is a common bacterial cause of respiratory infections.
It is the most common cause of infant meningitis.
Serious Pc infections occur mostly in infants ages two or younger. Serious cases in healthy children and adults are uncommon.
It is fatal mainly to the elderly.
It is treatable. Serious infections require hospitalization with IV antibiotics for several days.
This vaccine is usually not given after 24 months of age.
This is NOT a live virus vaccine. (That means that it does not contain the entire germ, so there is no way to become infected with the disease from the vaccine.)
This vaccine contains aluminum, which is a controversial ingredient. (Babies should not get this shot in the same month as other aluminum-containing shots)
Seizures are one of the side effects from this vaccine. Seizures are not very common, but it happens in 1 in every 20,000 infants. Many of which already had a history of seizures.
Reasons to get this vaccine:
Pc is a very serious infection. It occurs mainly in infants and in the elderly, so it makes sense to immunize babies.
Some people choose not to get this vaccine because it has a higher rate of seizures than other vaccines and it has other standard side effects. Another reason some parents may decline this vaccine is that if their baby is breasted and not in large group day care, the baby has a lower-than-average risk of catching this disease.
Closing paragraph from Doctor Sears:
Pc diseases can be very bad or only minor irritations. The problem is, you don't know until you're stuck with one. The Pc germ is a fairly common resident in day cares, schools and checkout lines at the grocery store. Unless you are a housebound agoraphobic or a stay-at-home mom who never, ever takes her baby out, you and your kids will encounter this germ. The Pc vaccine offers a "get out of jail free" card, so to speak. The shot does come with some possible side effects, but fortunately these are rare. Overall, I'd call this a fairly important vaccine.
I believe that Zachariah received three doses of this vaccine. I am ok with that. But I am not wild about the fact that the vaccine contains aluminum. If my children were going to be in a daycare setting, I would definitely strongly consider this vaccine. If my future children are breastfed and never enter the doors of a daycare, then I see no immediate need for this vaccine.
(Side note: Doctor Sears discusses the controversy of injected aluminum later on in the book. I will do a separate post for that subject later on down the road.)