Pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-uhl] disease is caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Children younger than 2 years of age are among those most at risk for disease. There are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children and adults.
NEW! Adults 65 years or older are now recommended 2 pneumococcal vaccines. Learn more.
- Pneumococcal Vaccines
Pneumococcal vaccines are very good at preventing severe disease and hospitalization.
- Vaccine Information Statements
These one-page CDC vaccine information statements explain who should get pneumococcal vaccines and when.
- Pneumococcal Vaccine Basics
Get comprehensive information about pneumococcal vaccines and other educational tools.
- Vaccine Safety
As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions, including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a vague feeling of discomfort.
- Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations
View recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Risks and How It Spreads
- Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but some people are at greater risk for disease than others.
- Pneumococcal bacteria spread from person-to-person by direct contact with respiratory secretions, like saliva or mucus.
- Page last reviewed: June 6, 2013
- Page last updated: September 18, 2014
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