Pneumococcal Disease

Baby with grandmother

Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is a type of bacterium that causes pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-uhl] disease. Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. Children younger than 2 years old and adults 65 years or older are among those most at risk for disease. There are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children and adults.

Pneumococcal Vaccination
  • 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 discomfort, after pneumococcal vaccination.
  • Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations
    View recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Risks and How It Spreads

Older woman sneezing

  • 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.
Signs and Symptoms

child sick in bed

There are many types of pneumococcal disease. Symptoms and complications depend on the part of the body that the bacteria infects…

Page last reviewed: September 6, 2017