Pneumosil: Pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (PCV 10)

Pneumosil: Pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (PCV 10)

Pneumosil is a 10 valent pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate PCV 10 vaccine. It is used to prevent the diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae strains. It is manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

It gives immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 19A, 19F, 23F. These all antigens are polysaccharide in nature. Being polysaccharide they are not very effective in inducing immunity in children less than 2 years of age. In those above 2 years of age they cannot induce long term memory in immunity. So these antigens are chemically activated and covalently linked to diphtheria protein carrier protein CRM197. This is called conjugation. After the process of conjugation the above problem is solved. This is a conjugated vaccine.

Pneumosil vaccine

Pneumosil vaccine is available in injection form. It is ready to inject liquid. It is available in a single dose vial or 5 dose multidose vial. It looks hazy and cloudy in appearance normally becomes homogeneous when shaken gently.

How Pneumosil vaccine is given?

Pneumosil vaccine is given by injection. It is generally given on antero-lateral aspect of thigh in infants. Safety injection precautions should be followed while giving injection. This injection should not be given intravenously, subcutaneously or intradermally as safety and immunogenicity of such route is not known. 

The vaccine that has passed its expiry date should not be used. The vaccine should be discarded if it passes expiry date or frozen or was kept out of suggested temperature range. 

While discarding the disposables or discarding the unused vaccines proper biomedical waste management protocols should be followed to protect environment from damage.

How does Pneumosil vaccine work?

Pneumosil vaccine is a method of active immunization. When this injection is given to the infant or child, the serotype antigens in it which are conjugated to carrier proteins get recognized by the immune system. 

Immune system forms antibodies against it. Immune system also forms the memory immunity against all these antigens, so when actual infection with the same serotypes occur the immune mechanism fastly ramps up the fight and the infection is brought under very effectively and also the disease stage of infection is prevented. 

As the body learns to fight infection even the commensal infection by above serotype bacteria is fought back. It also changes the carrier pattern of these serotypes in the normal population. 

Thus to some extent even the contacts are protected if a sufficiently large population is vaccinated with this vaccine. Booster dose is used to boost the immune response and it also helps to confer the prolonged immunity.

Which diseases are prevented by Pneumosil?

The diseases caused by the serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae contained in vaccines are prevented. These include pneumonia, otitis media, meningitis, Some streptococcal skin infections.

How Pneumosil vaccine is stored?

This vaccine is needed to be stored in the temperature range 2-8 degree Celsius and cold chains should be maintained during transport and storage till injection is administered. Accidentally frozen doses should not be used and discarded.

At what age this Pneumosil vaccine is given?

Pneumosil is given at age 6, 10, 14 weeks along with DPT, HiB, IPV and Hepatitis B, oral rotavirus vaccine

Clinically trials have proven that a booster around 15 month of age is able to induce strong immune response in the patient.

Safety of Pneumosil given with other vaccines:

This vaccine can be safely given with other vaccines like DPT, HiB, IPV and Hepatitis B, oral rotavirus vaccine. and Infanrix Hexa painless vaccine.

The two vaccines should not be mixed in the same syringe and should be given at separate injection sites.

What are side effects of Pneumosil vaccine?

These all side effects are usually mild and can be managed at home with or without medications.

  • Fever can be moderate to high grade after vaccination and subsides with oral paracetamol and sponging.
  • Local pain and swelling can be managed with paracetamol and local cold fomentation as needed.
  • Loss of appetite and irritability usually subsides after some hours.
  • For nausea, the frequency of breastfeeding is increased and oral rehydration solution can be given.
  • Headache may subside by its own or may need oral paracetamol.
  • Though side effects may occur they are usually for a short period and milder than diseases that are prevented by the vaccine.
  • Severe reactions allergic in origin and causing anaphylaxis which can be life threatening are extremely rare to occur. The center at which vaccination is given should be equipped with a facility to manage anaphylactic reaction.

To whom Pneumosil vaccine should not be given?

There are very few contraindications to this vaccine. This vaccine should be avoided in those:

  • Who are below the age 6 weeks.
  • Those who are pregnant.
  • Those who are breastfeeding their babies.
  • Those who are allergic to any of the components of this vaccine.
  • Those who had anaphylactic or allergic reaction at the time of the previous dose.

What is the difference between Pneumosil SD and Pneumosil multidose?

Pneumosil SD is single dose 0.5 ml vial and Pneumosil 2.5 ml is multidose vial containing 5 doses in it.

About multidose vial

It can be used in multidose vial form and the remaining dose can be used in subsequent session till day 28 of opening vial as suggested by WHO with following conditions:

  • The vaccine should be prequalified by WHO for such use.
  • The vaccine was stored strictly at temperature suggested by WHO and the manufacturer.
  • The vaccine is within the expiry date.
  • If the vaccine vial monitor attached to the vial and it indicates that vaccine has not passed beyond the point of usage.

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