Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can lead to:
Streptococcus pneumoniae is spread through contact with a person who has the disease or who carries the bacteria in his throat. This most often occurs through droplets from the nose or mouth of someone with the infection.
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines:
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)—recommended for infants and toddlers. The PCV13 vaccine, which protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria, replaced the PCV7 vaccine.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV)—recommended for certain children and adults
The vaccines are made from inactivated bacteria. It is given by injection under the skin or into the muscle. The goal of getting a vaccine is that later, when you are exposed to the bacteria, you will not get sick from it.
Last reviewedJune 2012by Tajender S. Vasu, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.