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Messy Mix? Combined vaccine yields fewer antibodies

Thanks to modern medicine, children in the United States can look forward to receiving up to 20 vaccinations during early childhood. It's all for a good cause, but try telling that to a baby.

Scientists attempting to minimize the number of injections by bunching together vaccines now report the curious finding that one of the component vaccines doesn't seem to work as well in combination as it does when administered by itself. Moreover, two other vaccines administered with the combination vaccine also lost some of their protective potency.

Researchers in England randomly chose 119 infants to vaccinate against group C meningitis in a series of shots. Another 115 infants got a combination vaccine called 9-valent, which includes the group C meningitis vaccine and eight others for various types of meningitis and pneumonia.

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