Pneumococcus a threat to Peruvian children and the elderly

The health system provides these services free of charge to children under 5 years of age, children over 60 years of age and people with comorbidities

Pneumococcus is a pathogenic microorganism that can cause various infections and severe invasion processes in humans, causing infections such as pharyngitis, otitis media, sinusitis, meningitis and pneumonia. Unvaccinated people are vulnerable to the bacteria, and if they are part of a vulnerable group, they are at greater risk of severe illness. Sergio Carpio Cárdenas, a pulmonologist at Minsa de Tarapoto Hospital, sounded the alarm.

“Older adults and adults with certain comorbidities are more likely to develop severe pneumococcal infections. Vaccines are therefore a preventive measure that can avoid these severe symptoms and reduce hospitalizations and deaths,” the experts said.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) recalled that pneumococcal vaccines are free, safe and of good quality. The vaccine is available in all health facilities in the country for boys and girls under 5 years of age and requires 3 doses (at 2, 4 and 12 months of age). Whereas health personnel, adults over 65 years of age, and people with comorbidities, such as patients with cardiovascular problems, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc., require a single dose.

Doctor Sergio Carpio mentioned that most patients hospitalized with pneumonia have not been vaccinated against pneumococcus. In this case, the most serious consequence is sepsis. That is, when a person has a systemic infection that can lead to death.

The pulmonologist emphasized that the pneumococcal vaccine protects against the serotypes that cause the most serious infections. “Children under 5 years old and the elderly must complete vaccinations. Many people think that healthy people do not need vaccines, but in fact, vaccines are suitable for everyone. We don’t wait until the patient’s condition deteriorates before taking action.” The doctor said.

As far as he is concerned, regional immunization coordinator san martin district health boardNurse Ona Navarro Quintos He attended our event and gave us the pneumococcal vaccine coverage data for the first semester of 2023, 15.8% pneumococcal vaccination for the elderly, 43% coverage for children under one year old, pneumococcal vaccination for one-year-old children The rate is 39.2%. San Martin area. Pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations for five-year-olds and older adults in the San Maarten area must be strengthened, said the Minsa pulmonary specialist.

“Pneumococcal vaccine is given once in a lifetime, while influenza vaccine is seasonal, so it should be given every year before winter. We invite health workers, parents with sons and daughters under 5 years old, adults over 60 years old, Those with comorbidities should complete the vaccination,” advises Sergio Carpio, a doctor from Minsa.

Finally, Dr. Carpio warned that patients with respiratory symptoms should not self-administer antibiotics, as they can cause bacterial resistance. It is best to see a doctor to prescribe the most appropriate drug according to the patient’s diagnosis.

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