Beginning this fall, infants and children younger than 24 months old will need to have the PCV7 vaccine in order to attend daycare.
The PCV7 vaccine protects children against streptococcus pnemoniae bacteria. These types of bacteria can cause ear and skin infections, and in extreme cases can cause meningitis, blood infections, pneumonia, brain damage and death.
The vaccine requirement is in effect now, for the upcoming fall season, when most parents enroll children into daycare. The PCV7 vaccine is required for this age group because young children are at a slightly higher risk for infections than others, and also because they tend to spread germs to each other easily since they are not old enough to understand handwashing and disease prevention techniques.
For more information on the vaccine, please visit http://www.cdc.gov/niP/publications/VIS/vis-PneumoConjugate.pdf, or the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Immunizations Program site at http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/?ID=265.