Pneumonia Vaccine on the Horizon for Impoverished Children

February 18, 2011

Millions of young children die every year from pneumonia, with those in third world countries and those poverty stricken disproportionately affected. On top of this, the elderly are particularly at risk for developing pneumonia and severe complications associated with pneumonia (including death) even in the US.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has been providing funding into research for a vaccine for pneumonia, which will be for those groups most at risk of severe pneumonia-related complications.

The vaccine is based on the two most common causes of pneumonia, but there are several other strains which still affect a million or more children yearly.

While this vaccine is not yet intended for low-risk US children, who knows what lies in the future. It may be beneficial for elderly in nursing homes who are at a high risk of dying from pneumonia, and then again is might not-it’s still too early to know side-effects of the pneumonia vaccine, although it presumably contains the same preservatives that some groups tie to many diseases and disorders.

If a pneumonia vaccine were available in the US, would you use it? Would you consider recommending it to either the very old or the very young? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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