Good news from the Centers for Disease Control. The vaccine for Pneumonia and Meningitis is having a greater effect than anyone expected.
The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association describes a four year effort to follow kids two years before the introduction of the vaccine in 2000 and during the two years afterward. After tracking more than 16 million kids in seven states, the CDC says it's obvious there has been a dramatic decline in the incidence of Pneumonia and Meningitis in both blacks and whites of all ages.
"This, on a national scale, translates into 15,000 fewer cases among whites and 9,000 fewer cases among blacks in 2002 alone," explains Dr. Brendan Flannery from the Centers for Disease Control.
Dr. Flannery says the decline in the black population is actually greater than the decline among whites. But overall, the greatest drop in illness was in the under age two group. Don't forget if you have a small child at home, pediatricians recommend that kids receive three doses of Pneumococcal Vaccine before their first birthday, and a booster shot in the second year of life.