Currently there are two types of pneumococcal vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7 and PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. Neither of the vaccines can cause pneumonia.
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7 and PCV13) is for infants and toddlers. PCV13 is replacing the PCV7 vaccine. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved this vaccine for protection against pneumococcal bacteria. This may provide some protection for ear infections caused by that bacterium. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine schedule of this vaccine at ages two months, four months, six months and 12 to 15 months. Consult your health care provider if the vaccine is not given at those times.
The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is for older children and adults. It was developed to protect against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. Protection against most or all of these types of bacteria is expected two to three weeks after getting one dose of the vaccine. Pregnant women need to consult their health care provider regarding the need for the pneumococcal vaccine. The CDC recommends the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine for all adults 65 years of age or older and anyone two years of age or older with any of the following:
Will I live longer if I get the pneumococcal vaccine?
Yes, if the pneumococcal vaccine prevents you from getting pneumococcal pneumonia and from developing serious complications this may help you live longer.
Will getting the pneumococcal vaccine improve my quality of life?
Yes, if the pneumococcal vaccine prevents you from getting pneumococcal pneumonia, you will be able to continue with your usual activities. There are other types of pneumonia you can get.
Will getting the pneumococcal vaccine make my symptoms better?
If you get pneumonia from a type not covered by the vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine will not improve your symptoms. This vaccine is not intended to treat an active infection.
How safe is this vaccine for me?
Pneumonia vaccine has caused some minor complications. Major complications are rare.
Minor reported complications:
Major reported complications:
Although rare, the pneumonia vaccine may cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to latex. You may also have a severe allergic reaction with any of the following symptoms:
Alternative prevention measures (behavioral modification) include:
No scientific evidence exists showing that herbal, homeopathic or other folk remedies have any benefit against pneumonia.
The cost of the pneumonia vaccine varies but is approximately $50 to $70 for children and $25 to $50 for adults.
The cost for the treatment of pneumonia with or without complications varies depending on the severity. The cost of treatment could range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. In addition, loss of income and other financial considerations could affect you and your family.
The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.
The following are off-site links :
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2012, July). CDC vaccine price list. Retrieved August 20, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/cdc-vac-price-list.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2011, April). Pneumococcal disease in-short. Retrieved August 20, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/in-short-both.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2010, September). Updated recommendations for prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease among adults using the 23-Valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Retrieved August 20, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5934a3.htm.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2009, October). Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. What you need to know. Retrieved August 20, 2012 from
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