No Drop in Kids' Pneumonia Rate After Vaccine

A childhood vaccine against pneumonia, introduced in the U.S. in 2000, hasn't made a visible dent in the disease.  The first study to provide national estimates of childhood pneumonia found that rates of the lung infection had stayed more or less constant between 1994 and 2007.

At the beginning of that period, 19 in 1,000 children were diagnosed with pneumonia; by the end of the period, the number had actually risen to 22 in 1,000.

Reuters reports:

“More than a million Americans end up in the hospital every year with pneumonia, and in 2007 alone some 52,000 people died from the disease ... Among kids under age five, pneumococcus bacteria lead to nearly 5,000 cases a year of meningitis, bloodstream infections and other serious illnesses.”

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