Pneumococcal Vaccine: Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by bacteria. It can lead to:
It is spread by person-to-person contact.
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines:
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)—recommended for infants and toddlers. The PCV13 vaccine protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV)—recommended for certain children and adults. The PCV23 vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
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.
Last reviewedDecember 2013by David L Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.