The goal of all vaccines is to prevent illness. They work by stimulating the child’s immune system to produce antibodies against the disease without the child having to suffer from having the disease. Vaccines, however, do not always work, and boosters are one way to increase the effective of vaccines. But even they don’t always work. A recent study looked at one group of children that appeared to have problems developing immunity from certain vaccines.

Children that suffer from recurrent otitis media (ear infection) despite highly individualized treatment plans don’t respond well to vaccines against certain strains of Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza. A recent study looked at these children’s responses to routine childhood vaccinations.

In this study the effectiveness of routine pediatric vaccines was evaluated in 34 children 6-24 months old with a history of recurrent otitis media. Each child was matched with a control that had no history of recurrent ear infections. Their children’s antibodies levels were measured at various times to determine the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Protective antibody levels were not found for certain strains of polio and Streptococcus pneumonia, and Haemophilus influenza. Booster immunizations didn’t improve the antibody levels. The antibody levels were at protective levels for diphtheria, tetanus, strains of polio and Streptococcus pneumonia, hepatitis B.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 11/13

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From issue: 29/05-06