Vaccine to prevent poverty-related ear disease

  • 17/08/2016
Starship Children's Hospital (file)
Starship Children's Hospital (file)

A top paediatrician is touting a new vaccine as a game-changer for ear infection-prone Maori and Pasifika children.

The Synflorix vaccine was recently funded by Pharmac. Colin Barber from Starship says it'll help those children who are twice as prone as others.

"It is these children that are particularly important to use vaccination to try and deal with not only invasive pneumococcal disease, but also to help as much as possible with otitis media."

Dr Barber says the disproportionate numbers are a reflection of poverty and overcrowding. It was previously believed to be a genetic risk.

Chronic otitis media is a leading cause of hearing loss among children.