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GP calls for a pneumococcal vaccine

Dr Ian Kerss wants pneumococcal disease targeted as a national priority after his 11-year-old son almost died from the condition earlier this year.

Dr Kerss, a GP in Carlisle, Cumbria, said the illness was difficult to diagnose in children and urged the Government to introduce the pneumococcal vaccine into the childhood schedule.

Dr Kerss's son, Scott, was rushed to hospital after developing non-specific symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia, which had been put down to viral gastroenteritis.

Dr Kerss said: 'The diagnosis became clear after the chest X-rays. He was on intravenous antibiotics for about nine days and they didn't do any good so they had to operate. We thought on one occasion he might fade away.

'There will no doubt be children who will die from pneumonia so if there is a vaccine that could protect them it should be introduced.'

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