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Vaccines with (Fringe) Benefits

Vaccines with (Fringe) Benefits

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From a public health perspective, we can hardly ask for better friends than vaccines. Some even come with side benefits—less important, of course, than the ability to save lives, but helpful to the afflicted, nonetheless. For example, a number of vaccines reduce the risk for ear infections, not life-threatening by any stretch and often self-limited, but certainly disruptive for patient and parent. The pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar has radically reduced the risk of invasive diseases including pneumonias, meningitis, sepsis, and bacteremia. As the vaccine is made with various strains of pneumococcus and many of these are the most common cause of otitis, the fringe benefit of vaccination with Prevnar has been a 20% reduction in ear infections in children receiving the vaccine.

Which of the following other vaccines also reduce the risk of ear infections in children?

A. Hib vaccines
B. Varivax
C. MMR
D. All reduce the risk of ear infections in vaccinated children

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