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Facts About...

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
(Prevnar™ 13)


What is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine?

Pneumococcal conjugate 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).

Who can get the vaccine for free?

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is publicly funded (free) to ALL children 2 months to 5 years of age.

While all children less than five years of age may benefit from the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, it is highly recommended for children with certain chronic (long-term) illnesses. These children are at high-risk for pneumococcal infections.

Some adults 50 years and older, that are considered at high risk, are publicly funded for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (talk to your healthcare provider).

When should my child get the vaccine?

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is given to all children as part of the routine immunization schedule (baby needles) at:

  • 2 months old but can be given as early as 6 weeks
  • 4 months old
  • 12 months
  • A 4th dose may be needed for children at high risk (talk to your healthcare provider)

Adults, 50 years and older, at high risk may need 1-3 doses (talk to your healthcare provider).

Are there side effects with the vaccine?

The most common side effects for children are:

  • irritability
  • decreased appetite
  • increased or decreased sleep
  • pain, swelling and redness at the injection site
  • low grade fever

The most common side effects for adults are:

  • pain at the injection site
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • fever

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

  • Severe allergic reactions after vaccination are very rare and may not be related to the vaccine. However, if you think a serious reaction is developing, seek medical attention right away. Any unusual or significant changes in your health or your child’s health after the immunization should be reported to a healthcare provider and the Health Department.

Who should NOT get the vaccine?

  • Anyone who has had an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (talk to your healthcare provider)
  • Anyone who is allergic to a component of the vaccine. Any component in a vaccine may be a potential allergen. The most common allergens for pneumococcal conjugate are:
    • Diphtheria CRM toxoid carrier protein

For more information on contents of vaccine refer to the Canadian Immunization Guide Evergreen edition www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cig-gci/p01-14-eng.php

  • Anyone who has a high fever or serious infection worse than a cold. They should wait until they feel better.
  • If you have any medical conditions, discuss the vaccine with a health care 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 7, 2017