Prevention

Vaccines are the best way to prevent pneumococcal disease. Learn what else you can do to help protect yourselves and others from pneumococcal disease.

Vaccination

There are two kinds of pneumococcal vaccines available in the United States:

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV13, PCV15, or PCV20)
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

These vaccines protect against many, but not all types of pneumococcal bacteria. Also, the protection from these vaccines is good but not perfect (or 100%). For these two reasons, there is still a chance someone can develop pneumococcal disease after vaccination.

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Learn more about pneumococcal vaccination, including who should get which vaccine(s).

It is also important to get an influenza vaccine every year because having the flu increases the likelihood of getting pneumococcal disease.

Preventive antibiotics

CDC does not recommend that close contacts of someone with pneumococcal disease receive antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick. Experts call this prophylaxis. Generally, people do not develop pneumococcal disease after exposure to someone with a pneumococcal infection.

Re-infection

People can get pneumococcal disease more than once. A previous pneumococcal infection will not protect you from future infection. Therefore, CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination even if someone has had pneumococcal disease in the past.