Biko brought her first gift to me today. Vogon and I were both startled to see her trot into the room with something in her mouth, but when she put it down on my lap we had a chuckle -- it was a rolled-up grocery bag! She's been batting them around the house since discovering she could knock them out of the bag I keep rolled-up grocery bags in. (They make excellent portable garbage bags, so I keep a couple in the car, several in my Scouting bag, and so on.)
Now's she curled up "in the cave" under my desk with her paws against the side of my foot and her head on my foot. It's so adorable I took a few photos; we'll see how they came out later.
I saw a blurb on the midday news about clinical trials for a vaccine that could be used to prevent middle ear infections and sinus infections in children and bronchitis in adults. I /think/ they're talking about Streptorix, which was in Phase III trials in Europe this spring. The manufacturer is planning for regulatory filings in the EU and other international markets in 2007 with no date yet in the US.
I'm not positive, since to the best of my knowledge Streptorix is currently in Phase I trials in the elderly, but it looks promising. GlaxoSmithKline claims the 10 serotypes it covers represent about 80% of circulating invasive S. pneumoniae serotypes worldwide, which means Good Things for reducing the chances of your future children suffering from ear infections if you choose to have them receive that vaccination.
I wish it had been available when I was a little burrito, because I only hope for chronic sinusitis on people that really piss me off.
Wyeth's Prevnar, which has been on the US market for several years, is its main competitor. It covers 7 S. pneumoniae serotypes but does not offer the non-encapsulated H. Influenzae protection that Streptorix does. (Laurel had a Prevnar series as an infant because of her low birth weight and I have a chronic respiratory condition; Tricare paid for it, so I had no complaints. Incidentally, Laurel didn't have an ear infection until she was 5y10m old.)