Pneumococcal Vaccination

Each year in the United States, pneumococcal disease causes thousands of infections, such as meningitis, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and ear infections. Pneumococcal vaccines are very good at preventing severe disease, needing treatment in the hospital, and death. However, vaccination is not guaranteed to prevent infection and symptoms in all people. Learn more about pneumococcal vaccines.

PCV13 for Infants, Children, and Adults

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 or Prevnar 13®) protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

Before the vaccine, there were about 700 cases of meningitis, 13,000 bloodstream infections, and 200 deaths from pneumococcal disease each year among children younger than 5 years old. After children started getting this vaccine, these numbers dropped quickly.

doctor vaccinating patient

CDC recommends PCV13 for use in infants and young children and adults 65 years or older. Older children and adults younger than 65 years old who are at increased risk for getting pneumococcal disease may also need a dose of PCV13.

For more information, see the childhood Cdc-pdf[2 pages] and adult Cdc-pdf[2 pages] immunization schedules, and talk to your doctor or nurse.

PPSV23 for Children and Adults

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23 or Pneumovax®) protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. CDC recommends it for all adults 65 years or older and for those 2 years or older at increased risk for disease.

For more information, see the childhood Cdc-pdf[2 pages] and adult Cdc-pdf[2 pages] immunization schedules or talk to your doctor or nurse.

What You Need to Know About the Pneumococcal Vaccines

Graphic of someone holding a mobile phone displaying the PnuemoRecs VaxAdvisor app. PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor: Customized pneumococcal vaccination recommendations at your fingertips.

PneumoRecs VaxAdvisor is available for download on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Pneumococcal Vaccine Resources for Healthcare Professionals

Page last reviewed: September 6, 2017