Prevention

Vaccines are the best way to help prevent pneumococcal disease; chemoprophylaxis is not recommended generally.

Vaccine

CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for

  • All children under 2 years old
  • Older adults 65 years old or older
  • Older children and adults who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease

See Pneumococcal vaccination: Information for healthcare professionals for information on all pneumococcal vaccine recommendations by vaccine, age, and indication.

Key resources:

Understanding and implementing adult pneumococcal vaccination recommendations

  1. CDC expert commentary on Medscape: 5 things to know about pneumococcal disease and the new adult pneumococcal vaccine recommendations
  2. Job aid: Pneumococcal vaccine timing for adults
  3. Mobile app: PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor

Chemoprophylaxis

In general, CDC does not recommend chemoprophylaxis for close contacts of patients with pneumococcal disease. Secondary cases of invasive pneumococcal infection are uncommon.

Chemoprophylaxis for children with asplenia

The American Academy of Pediatrics typically recommends daily antimicrobial prophylaxis with oral penicillin V for children with functional or anatomic asplenia, especially those with sickle cell disease. In general, clinicians should consider antimicrobial prophylaxis (in addition to vaccination) for all children with asplenia younger than 5 years of age and for at least 1 year after splenectomy.

References

American Academy of Pediatrics. Antimicrobial prophylaxis. In: Kimberlin DW, Brady MT, Barnett ED, Lynfield R, Sawyer MH, eds. Red Book: 2021–2024 Report on Infectious Diseases, 32nd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL; 2021.