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New vaccine will be available soon

Children in the Isle of Man are to be offered a more effective vaccine against a bacterium which causes serious diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis.

Pneumococcus can also lead to septicemia and other infections.

The present vaccine, Prevanar 7, protects against seven types of the bacterium, whereas the new one, called Prevanar 13, will cover six more, as the name suggests.

Every year there are between 5,000 and 6,000 cases of serious illness caused by pneumococcus in England, and around 40,000 hospital admissions.

The vaccine, which was first introduced into the childhood immunisation programme in September 2006, is given in three doses at two, four and 13 months.

The programme will begin in April, in line with the United Kingdom.

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