Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations

Below are summaries of recommendations from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). For the full text of the recommendations, see Pneumococcal ACIP Vaccine Recommendations.

Routine Vaccination of Infants, Children, and Adults 65 Years or Older

CDC recommends routine administration of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 or PCV15) for all children younger than 2 years of age:

  • Give PCV13 or PCV15 to infants as a series of 4 doses, one dose at each of these ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 through 15 months.
  • Children who miss their shots or start the series later should still get vaccinated. The number of doses recommended and the intervals between doses will depend on the child’s age when vaccination begins. See catch-up guidance for additional information.

CDC recommends routine administration of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15 or PCV20) for all adults 65 years or older who have never received any pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous vaccination history is unknown:

  • If PCV15 is used, this should be followed by a dose of PPSV23 one year later. The minimum interval is 8 weeks and can be considered in adults with an immunocompromising condition†, cochlear implant, or cerebrospinal fluid leak.
  • If PCV20 is used, a dose of PPSV23 is NOT indicated.
  • See Pneumococcal Vaccination: Summary of Who and When to Vaccinate for CDC guidance on vaccination options for adults who have previously received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Footnote

† Immunocompromising conditions include chronic renal failure, congenital or acquired asplenia, generalized malignancy, HIV infection, Hodgkin disease, iatrogenic immunosuppression, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, nephrotic syndrome, sickle cell disease or other hemoglobinopathies, and solid organ transplant.

Vaccination of Older Children and Adults with Certain Indications

In certain situations, children 2 years or older and adults younger than age 65 should also receive pneumococcal vaccines. See Pneumococcal Vaccination: Summary of Who and When to Vaccinate for all pneumococcal vaccine recommendations by vaccine and age.

Catch-up Guidance for Healthy Children 4 Months through 4 Years

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.

The following “job-aid” provides catch-up guidance for PCV13 or PCV15 for healthy children 4 months through 4 years of age. It includes detailed scenarios by age group and previous number of doses received. This should assist clinicians in interpreting Figure 2 of the Childhood/Adolescent Immunization Catch-up Schedule.

Contraindications and Precautions

Do not administer a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine to:

  • A person who has ever had a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of PCV7, PCV13, PCV15, or PCV20, or to any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid
  • A person with a severe allergy to any component of these vaccines

Do not administer PPSV23 to:

  • A person who has ever had a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose
  • A person with a severe allergy to any component of this vaccine

Clinicians may administer pneumococcal vaccines, if the provider and parent or patient deems the benefits of vaccination to outweigh the risks, to:

  • A person who has a moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever
Page last reviewed: January 24, 2022