The vaccine also appears to be very safe. Data on 20,000 children show no serious side effects, Paradiso said. Children, however, may experience muscle soreness and mild fever from the shot.
Gayle White, who lives in Walnut with her husband, Maurice, said she will be asking her pediatrician about the vaccine when it is approved. While it is expected to be recommended as a routine vaccine given at 2, 4 and 6 months, with booster shots at 12 and 15 months, children under age 5 with chronic ear infections appear to benefit as well, Paradiso said.
"I would jump at the chance of having a vaccine," White said. Dillon, now 3, had tests after his ear surgery that showed he had not been hearing properly and that his speech was delayed. "If we would have had this, it might have kept me from having a lot of sleepless nights."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)
An ear infection occurs when germs from the nose and throat begin to multiply in the inner ear, between the eardrum and the bones of the inner ear.
The eustachian tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. In children, the tube is short and narrow and becomes easily blocked, trapping germs in the middle ear.