The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide
vaccine (PPSV23) protect against pneumococcal infections.
The bacteria that cause these infections
spread through person-to-person contact. They can lead to serious infections like
pneumonia, blood infections, and
PCV13 protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, which cause the most
common pneumococcal (new-muh-KOK-uhl) infections in kids. PPSV23 protects against
23 types. These vaccines prevent infections in children who get them, and help stop
the infections from spreading to others.
When Are PCV and PPSV Immunizations Given?
Infants get PCV13 immunizations as a series of four injections:
the first at 2 months of age
then at 4 months, 6 months, and 12–15 months
Some kids older than age 2 also might need a shot of PCV13 if they have missed
one or more shots, especially if:
They have a chronic health condition (such as heart or lung disease).
They have a condition that weakens the immune system (like asplenia, HIV
A doctor can decide when and how often a child should get PCV13.
Doctors also recommend PPSV23 immunizations for kids 2–18 years old with
some kinds of chronic health conditions. These include:
Children younger than 2 years old, adults over 65, and people with some medical
conditions are at high risk for serious pneumococcal infections. These vaccines are
very effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and even death.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of PCV and PPSV Vaccines?
Kids may have redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given. A child
also might have a fever after getting
the shot. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.
When to Delay or Avoid PCV and PPSV Immunization
These vaccines are not recommended if your child:
is currently sick. But simple colds
or other minor illnesses should not prevent immunization.
Caring for Your Child After PCV and PPSV Immunization
These vaccines may cause mild fever and soreness or redness in the injection area.
Check with your doctor to see if you can give either acetaminophen
or ibuprofen for pain or fever and
to find out the right dose.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Call the doctor if:
Your child missed a dose in the series.
Your child has a serious allergic reaction or high fever after immunization.