Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13)


Pneumococcal disease is an infection. It can be caused by many types of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. The bacteria can infect the nose, ears, blood and lungs, where it causes pneumonia. It can lead to meningitis, a swelling of the membranes around the brain and the spinal cord. This can be deadly. The PCV13 vaccine can prevent infection.

How it Works

PCV13 protects against 13 types of bacteria. The vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies to fight the bacteria. Even after the bacteria is destroyed, this protection remains.

How it is Given

The PCV13 vaccine is usually given to Infants and young children in a series of four injections. These are normally given at two months, four months, six months and 12 to 15 months of age. When the vaccine is given to older children and adults, only one dose is needed.

Who Should Get the Vaccine

The vaccine is recommended for all children younger than two and for adults 65 and older who have never had the vaccine. It is also recommended for people who have certain medical conditions that raise their risk of infection. This includes children and adults who have sickle cell disease, HIV, diabetes, or cancer. People who have had an organ transplant may benefit from the vaccine. It may also be recommended for children who are in group day care.

Who Should Avoid the Vaccine

Some people should avoid or postpone a vaccination. A person who has a severe reaction to a dose of the vaccine should not get further doses. And a person who is sick should wait before getting the vaccine.