Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV23)


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 spinal cord. This can be deadly. A vaccine prevents the infection.

How it Works

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 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 vaccine is given as a single injection. Some people may get a booster dose later.

Who Should Get the Vaccine

It is routinely given to adults who are age 65 and older. It is also recommended for people age two to 65 who have certain medical conditions. This includes people who have long-term health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cirrhosis. It includes people who have a weakened immune system. And it may be helpful for adults who smoke or have asthma.

Who Should Avoid or Postpone the Vaccination

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