Pneumococcal Vaccine

(Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine; PCV; Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine; PPSV)

What Is Pneumococcal Disease?

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by bacteria. It can lead to:It is spread by person-to-person contact.

What Is the Pneumococcal Vaccine?

There are 2 types of pneumococcal vaccines:
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)—Recommended for all children younger than 5 years old, all adults aged 65 years and older, and those aged 6 years and older with certain risk factors or diseases. The PCV13 vaccine protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV)—Recommended for certain children and adults, and all adults 65 years old and older. People aged 2-64 years with certain risk factors or diseases should also be given this vaccine. The PCV23 vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Adults 65 years old and older may receive PCV followed by PPSV. Ask your doctor if you should receive both vaccines.The vaccines are made from inactivated bacteria. They are given by injection under the skin or into the muscle. The goal of getting a vaccine is that later, when you are exposed to the bacteria, you will not get sick from it.

Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?


The PCV is routinely given in 4 doses at 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months. It can also be given to children with high-risk conditions. It is also recommended for all adults aged 65 years and older.If your child has not been vaccinated or missed a dose, talk to their doctor. Depending on your child's age, additional doses may be needed. Also, an additional dose may be needed if your child:
  • Is less than 5 years old and was given PCV7, which is an earlier version of the vaccine
  • Has a condition that increases the risk of severe disease


The PPSV is given to adults aged 65 years and older.PPSV is also given to anyone aged 2-64 years who have certain conditions, such as:PPSV is also given to anyone aged 2-64 years who is taking a drug or treatment that lowers the body's ability to resist infection, such as:The vaccine should be given at least 2 weeks before cancer treatment begins.PPSV should also be given to any adult aged 19-64 years old who:In some cases, a second dose of PPSV may be needed. For example, a second dose is recommended for people 65 and older who got their first dose before they turned 65 and it has been more than 5 years since that dose. A second dose is also recommended for people 2 through 64 who have:
  • A damaged spleen or no spleen
  • Sickle cell disease
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • An organ or bone marrow transplant
  • Been taking medication that lowers immunity, such as chemotherapy or long-term steroids
When a second dose is given, it should be 5 years after the first dose.

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