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Facts About...

(Pneumovax® 23)

What is pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine?

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects you from bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). These bacteria can cause infections in the blood, brain, spinal cord, lungs and middle ear. Severe infections can cause death. (For more information, see Facts About... Pneumococcal Diseases).

How well does the vaccine work?

For healthy adults, the vaccine is more than 80% effective at preventing serious pneumococcal diseases.

Among the elderly and high-risk groups the vaccine is estimated to be 50-80% effective at preventing serious illness. Some people with a chronic illness may need to get the vaccine more than once.

Who can get the vaccine for free?

When should you get the vaccine?

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine can be given at any time of year. It may be given at the same time as other vaccine(s). In general healthy people only need the vaccine one time.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine should be given 8 weeks apart from the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (another type of pneumococcal vaccine).

Are there side effects with the vaccine?

The most common side effects of the vaccine are:

A cold, wet compress to the site and/or acetaminophen can be used to help to relieve pain, swelling and/or fever after vaccination.

Who should NOT get the vaccine?

If you have any medical conditions, discuss the vaccine with a healthcare provider to determine if you should receive it.

Your Record of Protection

After you or your child receives a vaccine, update your immunization record (yellow card). For children in school or daycare, please call the Health Department to update your child’s immunization records. Keep your records in a safe place!

February 6, 2017