No one has fun when babies’ ears are in pain. Testing a baby’s cord blood for levels of maternal antibodies to pneumococcal bacteria can predict the frequency of ear infections.
Information presented at the May 2000 American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting in Orlando, Florida indicates that low levels of antibodies mean a higher incidence of ear infection.
Perhaps routinely giving the pneumococcal vaccine to women will enable them to produce the antibodies that can protect their children. This may prove to be even more effective at preventing ear infections than giving it to babies and depending on their immature immune systems to create the antibodies over time.