(Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine; PCV; Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine; PPSV)
by Amy Scholten, MPH
What Is Pneumococcal Disease?
Pneumococcal disease is an infection. It is caused by certain bacteria. It can lead to:
It is spread by person-to-person contact.
What Is the Pneumococcal Vaccine?
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.
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
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.
What Are the Risks Associated With the Pneumococcal Vaccine?
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:
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
Children who should not get the vaccine are those who:
You should not receive the PPSV if you:
What Other Ways Can Pneumococcal Disease Be Prevented Besides Vaccination?
The risk of pneumococcal disease can be reduced by:
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
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
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.
All rights reserved.