Some parents worry that their children are receiving too many vaccinations at once, resulting in a less-than-optimal immune response. A recent study tested this hypothesis by randomly giving infants at two, four and six months of age either the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugated vaccine (PCV13) or the 7-valent vaccine PCV7, which protects against seven rather than thirteen strains of pneumonia.

At the same time all the children received their other immunizations-diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and hemophilius influenza type b. At 12-15 months all the infants received their second round of shots. One month after the infant shots and again after the booster shots, the children had blood levels drawn to determine if they had developed immunity against the diseases for which they were immunized.

When the levels of immunity were measured against multiple childhood illnesses, the researchers found that the children who had received the PCV13 had no less or weaker immune response than the children who had received the PCV7.

These results add to the evidence that giving children multiple vaccinations at the same time does not effect the children’s ability to develop immunity.

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 10/12

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From issue: 28/05-06