The best way to protect against pneumococcal disease is through vaccination.
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines currently recommended in the US: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). Both vaccines are safe and effective, but side effects can occur. Most side effects are mild such as arm swelling or soreness, and last one or two days.
- All children younger than age 2 years should receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV13) series
- Healthy children age 2-4 years who are unvaccinated or who did not complete the recommended series should also receive PCV13
- Adolescents and children age 2 years and older should also receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) if they have any of the following:
- Lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease; asthma; diabetes; or sickle cell disease
- Conditions that weaken the immune system, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or damaged/absent spleen
- Cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
Read more about pneumococcal disease and adolescents.
Reviewed September 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What you should know about pneumococcal disease