HOME HOME   |   ABOUT   |   CONTACT US    |   EMAIL UPDATES   |   Español    
  • Print
Text Size: A A A

Pneumococcal Vaccines

Vaccines to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease

  • CV13: Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for all infants and children, and adults 19 years and older at high risk for disease (Spanish)
  • PPSV23: Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for all adults 65 years and older and those 2 years of age and older at high risk for disease (Spanish)
Vaccine Basics

There are currently two types of pneumococcal vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).
 

There are more than 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria. PCV13 protects against 13 types and PPSV23 protects against 23 types. Both vaccines provide protection against illnesses like meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia (blood infection). PCV13 also provides protection against pneumonia (lung infection).

PCV13

For Infants and Young Children

PCV13 is recommended as a series of four doses, one dose at each of these ages:

  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months and
  • 12 through 15 months

Children who miss their shots at these ages should still get the vaccine. The number of doses and the intervals between doses will depend on the child’s age. Ask your health care provider for details.

Read the CDC’s Who Needs to be Vaccinated Page or ask your health care provider if your child should also receive PPSV23

For Adults

One dose of PCV13 is recommended for all adults 65 years of age or older who have not previously received the vaccine. A dose of PPSV23 should be given 6 to 12 months later.
 

For adults 65 years and older who have already received one or more doses of PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after receiving the most recent dose of PPSV23.

For Children 6 through 18 Years and Adults 19 through 64 years old

One dose of PCV13 is recommended for children 6 through 18 years of age and adults 19 through 64 years of age with the following medical conditions that put them at high risk for pneumococcal disease:

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks (leak in fluid around the brain and spine)
  • Cochlear implant(s) (electronic medical device that replace the function of a damaged inner ear)
  • Sickle cell disease and other hemaglobinopathies (blood disorders)
  • Functional or anatomic asplenia (a spleen that is damaged or removed)
  • Congenital or acquired immunodeficiencies (weakened immune system)
  • HIV infection
  • Chronic renal failure (kidney failure)
  • Nephrotic syndrome  (kidney disease)
  • Leukemia (cancer of the blood)
  • Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymphatic system)
  • Generalized malignancy (cancer)
  • Long-term immunosuppressive therapy (medication that lower the body’s immune system)
  • Solid organ transplant
  • Multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells)

Adults with one of the above listed conditions who have not received any pneumococcal vaccine, should get a dose of PCV13 first and should also continue to receive the recommended doses of PPSV23. Ask your health care provider for details.

Adults who have previously received one or more doses of PPSV23, and have one of the above listed conditions should also receive a dose of PCV13 and should continue to receive the remaining recommended doses of PPSV23. Ask you health care provider for details.

PPSV23

For Children, Pre-Teens, Teens, and Adults

One dose of PPSV23 is recommended for:

  • All adults 65 years of age and older
  • Anyone two through 64 years of age who has a long- term health problem such as:
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Diabetes
    • Alcoholism
    • Cirrhosis
    • Leaks of cerebrospinal fluid
    • Cochlear implant
  • Anyone two through 64 years of age who has a disease or condition that lowers the body’s resistance to infection, such as:
    • Hodgkin’s disease
    • Lymphoma or leukemia
    • Kidney failure
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Nephrotic syndrome
    • HIV infection or AIDS
    • A spleen that is damaged or has been removed
    • Organ transplant
  • Anyone two through 64 years of age who is taking a drug or treatment that lowers the body’s resistance of infection, such as:
    • Long-term steroids
    • Certain cancer drugs
    • Radiation therapy
  • Any adult 19 through 64 years of age who is a smoker or has asthma

People two through 64 years of age with certain chronic health conditions may be recommended to receive a second dose, five years after their first dose. Those people would also get a dose of PPSV23 at age 65 years or older if at least five years have passed since their previous PPSV23 dose (3 lifetime doses of PPSV23). In addition, any individual who needs two doses of PPSV23 before age 65 years is recommended one dose of PCV13 first. Ask your health care provider for details.
 

Most healthy adults who get the vaccine develop protection to most or all of these types within two to three weeks of getting the shot. Very old people and people with some long-term illnesses might not respond as well, or at all.  

About Pneumococcal

What is Pneumococcal Disease?

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). There are different types of pneumococcal disease, such as lung infections (pneumococcal pneumonia), blood infections (bacteremia), infections of the covering of the brain and spinal cord (pneumococcal meningitis), and middle ear infections (otitis media). Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable illness and death in the United States.

Pneumococcus bacteria can be found in many people's noses and throats without causing disease and are spread by coughing, sneezing, or contact with respiratory secretions. Why it suddenly invades the body and causes disease in some people is unknown.

Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

Symptoms of pneumococcal meningitis include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Fever
  • Mental confusion and disorientation
  • Visual sensitivity to light (photophobia)

The symptoms of pneumococcal bacteremia (a bloodstream infection) include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Low alertness

Symptoms of pneumococcal otitis media (middle ear infection) include:

  • A painful ear
  • A red or swollen eardrum
  • Sometimes sleeplessness, fever and irritability

Pneumococcal infections can be hard to treat because some strains of the bacteria have become resistant to the drugs that are used to treat them. Pneumococcal disease can be deadly. In some cases, it can result in long-term problems, like brain damage, deafness, and limb loss.

Who gets Pneumococcal disease?

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but some people are at greater risk than others:

  • People 65 years and older
  • Very young children
  • People with certain health problems
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • Smokers
  • Adults with asthma
Take Action

Ready to get vaccinated?

 
 
Learn more about the vaccine recommendations for you.

 

Read more about pneumococcal vaccines:

Going to get vaccinated: