Medicine: Shots for Pneumonia

Inoculating against a killer

When penicillin and other antibiotics were introduced more than a generation ago, doctors felt they had finally won the fight against the most common form of bacterial pneumonia. But the tiny spherical pneumococcus bacteria have proved a stubborn foe. They are showing increasing resistance to drugs of all kinds, and bacterial pneumonia is again on the rise; it takes an estimated 25,000 lives a year in the U.S. alone. The bacteria are also a common cause of damaging middle-ear infections in youngsters and meningitis—a dangerous inflammation of...

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