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* This is the Consumer Version. *

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccines help protect against bacterial infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae( pneumococcal infections), such as ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and meningitis.

Administration

Two formulations of the pneumococcal vaccine are available.

  • The conjugate vaccine (PCV13) protects against 13 types of pneumococci.

  • The polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

The conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is routinely recommended for

  • All children: Given typically at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months

  • All people aged 65 years and over

The conjugate vaccine is also recommended for people aged 6 to 64 who are at high risk of developing pneumococcal infections. If people aged 65 years and older got their first dose of polysaccharide vaccine when they were younger than 65 and it has been 5 or more years since the first dose, they are given a second dose, given at least 5 years after the first. For example, if they were given the first dose at age 64, they are given the second dose at age 69 or later.

The polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is routinely recommended for

  • All people aged 65 years and over

The polysaccharide vaccine is also given to older children who are at high risk of developing pneumonia or another pneumococcal infection. It is given in two doses: at age 24 months and 3 to 5 years later.

The polysaccharide vaccine is also recommended for people aged 6 to 64 who are at high risk of developing pneumococcal infections. This vaccine is effective in about two of three adults, although it is less effective in debilitated older people. It is more effective in preventing some of the serious complications of pneumococcal pneumonia (such as meningitis and bloodstream infections) than in preventing the pneumonia itself. If people are given pneumococcal vaccine for the first time at age 65, they are given the conjugate vaccine first and the polysaccharide vaccine 1 year later.

Side Effects

Occasionally, the injection site becomes painful and red. Other side effects include fever, irritability, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and vomiting.

* This is the Consumer Version. *