Ask the VEC: Pneumococcus and Antibiotics

Published on in Parents PACK

Q. Are there antibiotics available to treat pneumococcus?

A. Yes; however, our experience with pneumococcus presents a good example of the potential negative effects of antibiotic overuse. During the 20th Century, although vaccines were available, better vaccines were needed. However, because antibiotics, such as penicillin, were effective in treating pneumococcal infections, vaccine development was not prioritized. Unfortunately, over time many strains became resistant to not only penicillin, but also other broader spectrum antibiotics used to combat bacterial infections. In fact today, some strains of pneumococcus are resistant to most antibiotics that are available. It was not until this resistance manifested itself that development of a pneumococcal vaccine one again became a priority.
 

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.