Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

There are many strains of the pneumococcus bacteria.  In the United States, two vaccines are available to prevent pneumococcal disease. One is active against 13 strains of pneumococcus (PCV13) and is recommended for children less than 5 years of age. A second vaccine (PPSV23) is active against 23 strains and is given to children older than 2 years of age with underlying medical conditions and to adults greater than 65 years of age. Protection is good against serious pneumococcal infections, especially septicemia (bacterial infection in the blood) and meningitis (infection of the linings of the brain).  However, if a person is exposed to a type of pneumococcus that is not contained in the vaccine, he/she will not have any protection.

Consult your physician as to whether you should receive this vaccination prior to travelling.

What are the side effects?

Mild side effects following the vaccination include mild fever, fatigue, headache, chills, and redness, tenderness, and/or swelling where the injection was given.

What is the dosage schedule?

For adults, one or two doses of PPSV23 or one dose of PCV13 is recommended.  Children are usually vaccinated with multiple doses of PCV13 during childhood.