Pneumococcal disease is common in young children, but older adults are at greatest risk of serious illness and death. There are 2 kinds of vaccines that help prevent pneumococcal disease
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or PCV13 (Prevnar13)
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine or PPSV23 (Pneumovax23)
CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years old and all adults 65 years or older. In certain situations, other children and adults should also get pneumococcal vaccines. Below is more information about who should and should not get each type of pneumococcal vaccine.
Talk to your or your child’s clinician about what is best for your specific situation.
PCV13: CDC recommends PCV13 for
- All children younger than 2 years old
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions
Adults 65 years or older also can discuss and decide, with their clinician, to get PCV13.
PPSV23: CDC recommends PPSV23 for
- All adults 65 years or older
- People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions
- Adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes
Because of age or health conditions, some people should not get certain vaccines or should wait before getting them.
Tell the person who is giving you or your child a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine if:
- You or your child have had a life-threatening allergic reaction or have a severe allergy.
- You or your child are not feeling well.
Vaccines that help protect against pneumococcal disease work well, but cannot prevent all cases.
Studies show that at least 1 dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects
- At least 8 in 10 babies from serious infections called invasive pneumococcal disease
- 75 in 100 adults 65 years or older against invasive pneumococcal disease
- 45 in 100 adults 65 years or older against pneumococcal pneumonia
Studies show that 1 dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects
Between 50 to 85 in 100 healthy adults against invasive pneumococcal disease
Most people who get a pneumococcal vaccine do not have any serious problems with it. With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own within a few days, but serious reactions are possible.
- Reactions where the shot was given; redness, swelling, pain or tenderness
- Loss of appetite
- Fussiness (irritability)
- Feeling tired