Pneumococcal vaccines help protect against bacterial infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococci). Pneumococcal infections include ear infections, sinusitis, pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and meningitis.
For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13) vaccine information statement and Pneumococcal Polysaccharide vaccine information statement.
(See also Overview of Immunization.)
There are more than 90 different types of pneumococci. Vaccines are directed against many of the types most likely to cause serious disease. Two types of pneumococcal vaccines are available:
The PCV13 vaccine is injected into a muscle. The number of doses depends on the person's age. It is routinely recommended for
All children: Given typically at age 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months as a part of routine childhood vaccination
People aged 65 years and over who have a condition that weakens their immune system, cerebrospinal fluid leak, or cochlear implant and who have not previously received PCV13
People aged 65 years and over who do not have any of the above conditions, provided they discuss the relative risks and benefits of the vaccine with their doctor
The PCV13 vaccine is also recommended for people aged 6 to 64 who are at high risk of developing pneumococcal infections. These people include
The PPSV23 vaccine is injected under the skin or into a muscle. It is routinely recommended for
If people aged 65 years and over got the PPSV23 vaccine when they were under 65, they are given a second dose, 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 PPSV23 vaccine is also recommended for people aged 2 to 64 who are at high risk of developing pneumococcal infections. These people include the following:
Groups that are listed for the PCV13 vaccine (above)
People with diabetes
People with an alcohol use disorder
People who smoke cigarettes
PPSV23 vaccine is effective in preventing some of the serious complications of pneumococcal pneumonia (such bloodstream infections), but it is less effective in debilitated older people. If people are given a pneumococcal vaccine for the first time at age 65, they are given the PCV13 vaccine first and the PPSV23 vaccine 1 year later.
If people have a temporary illness, doctors usually wait to give the vaccine until the illness resolves (see also CDC: Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated With These Vaccines?).
The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.