Pneumococcal disease is an infection. It is caused by certain bacteria. It can lead to:
It is spread by person-to-person contact.
There are two types of vaccines:
The vaccines are made from inactivated bacteria. They are injected under the skin or into the muscle. The goal is to prevent getting sick if exposed to the infection later.
The PCV is given in 4 doses at 2, 4, 6, and 12 to 15 months. It can also be given to children with certain health conditions. It is advised for all adults aged 65 years and older, as well.
If your child has not been vaccinated or missed a dose, talk to their doctor. More doses may be needed. Also, an extra dose may be needed if your child has certain health conditions.
Adults 65 years old and older may receive PCV followed by PPSV.
The PPSV is given to adults aged 65 years and older.
PPSV is also given to anyone aged 2 to 64 years who has:
The vaccine is also advised for smokers.
People with certain conditions may need a second dose of PPSV. It should be 5 years after the first dose.
Generally, all vaccines have a small risk of serious problems. Side effects of PCV include:
Acetaminophen may weaken the vaccine's effect. Do not use it without taking to the doctor first.
Side effects may include:
Children who should not get the vaccine are those who:
You should not receive the PPSV if you:
The risk of pneumococcal disease can be reduced by:
If there is an outbreak, those who can get the vaccine should get it.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Vaccines & Immunizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Berical AC, Harris D, et al. Pneumococcal vaccination strategies. An update and perspective. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016;13(6):933-44.
Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html. Accessed August 23, 2021.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://vaccineinformation.org/pneumococcal/. Accessed August 23, 2021.
Pneumococcal disease. Immunization Action Coalition website. Available at: . Accessed August 23, 2021.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/ppv.pdf. Accessed August 23, 2021.
Pneumococcal vaccination. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/index.html. Accessed August 23, 2021.
Pneumococcal vaccine. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/prevention/pneumococcal-vaccination. Accessed August 23, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 8/23/2021