Pneumovax vaccine

Pneumovax vaccine

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Credit: SATURN STILLS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pneumovax vaccine in glass vials. This vaccine contains inactivated extracts from 23 of the most common types of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, the bacteria most commonly responsible for causing invasive diseases such as pneumonia, blood poisoning and meningitis. When injected, the vaccine stimulates the body's immune system to produce antibodies, but without causing an infection. The immune system can then respond quickly against future infections by the S. pneumoniae bacteria. The Pneumovax vaccine is only given to people at risk, such as the elderly, people with diabetes and those with a weakened immune system, and one dose is usually sufficient.

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