Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by bacteria. It can lead to:

It is spread by person-to-person contact.

There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines:

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)—Recommended for infants and toddlers. The PCV13 vaccine protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV)—Recommended for certain children and adults. The PCV23 vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

The vaccines are made from inactivated bacteria. They are 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.