Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD)

IPD stands for “Invasive Pneumococcal disease” caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is a serious infection that can spread to many organs. This type of infection is rare but it is more serious than just a simple pneumococcal infection which only causes common cold, middle ear infection, sinus infection, and lung inflammation. However, with IPD, the pneumococcal bacteria enters the body through the lining of the respiratory tract into the blood stream, causing bacteremia .The Infection may spread to the cortex causing meningitis, or to other organs such as bone and joint, causing inflammation in those areas. This disease is well known in the medical circle for a long time and is often found in infants and young children (2 months to 9 years old), may consequently cause the patient to have a severe disability or death.

What group of children is at risk of IPD?
Children in general, especially children younger than 2 years old are more at risk of IPD than adults. Children with high risk are children with no spleen or the spleen is not working properly, children who have thalassemia, HIV-infected children, children with immune deficiency conditions, and children with chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes, etc. In addition, children with spinal cord leakage caused by congenital anomalies, cracked skull, children who have a history of ear infections, or have had a surgery for artificial implant of the inner ear are also at a high risk. Moreover, children in the nursery, children living with parents who smoke (secondary smoker) and children who are not breastfed have a higher risk for IPD.
Currently, there are 2 types of vaccines for IPD. The first type is the vaccine in the category of polysaccharide. This vaccine cannot stimulate immunity in children aged less than 2 years old. It is only to be used for immunization with children older than 2 years of age who are at risk of this disease and elderly only.

The second vaccine is a conjugate vaccine. It is immunogenic in children younger than 2 years of age. This vaccine is highly effective in preventing IPD by its native serotypes with a success rate of 97.3%. It can be given from the age of 6 weeks to 9 years old.

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