Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world. It is caused by a common type of bacteria, the pneumococcus, which can attack different parts of the body. Illnesses caused by pneumococcus include pneumonia, meningitis, middle ear and sinus infections, and a condition called sepsis, which is an infection of the bloodstream.
It is estimated that about one million US adults get pneumococcal pneumonia each year. About 5-7% of them will die, and the death rate is even higher in those age 65 years and older. Fewer people will get pneumococcal meningitis or bloodstream infection, but the mortality rate for these infections is even higher.
Vaccines are available and are recommended for routine use in children, adults age 65 years and older, and adults age 19 to 64 years with certain risk conditions. Still, many of those indicated have never received a pneumococcal vaccine.
NFID is committed to providing education about pneumococcal disease. Talk to your healthcare provider about pneumococcal disease and vaccination.
Learn more about pneumococcal disease and the vaccines to prevent it in adolescents at adolescentvaccination.org and adults at adultvaccination.org.