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Rub-on vaccine to prevent ear infections

July 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new vaccine could help children avoid painful ear infections.Researchers at the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio have come up with the pain free vaccine that's rubbed on the ears. It triggers an immune response that kills one of the bacteria often blamed for ear infections.

In tests, the vaccine has proven highly effective in animals.

Ear infections are the most frequently diagnosed illnesses in U.S. children under the age of 15. They're the leading cause of emergency room visits by children. More than 80 percent of children get at least one ear infection before age 3.

Researchers hope that the ease of applying the vaccine to the skin will allow it to be distributed to some of the poorest children in the world.

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