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Pneumococcal Disease
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Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Pneumococcal Disease

People sometimes call pneumococcal disease "pneumonia." Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria, which can lead to serious infections in the lungs, blood, and brain.
You can catch the pneumococcal bacteria from people who cough or sneeze around you.
Even if you get good medical care, pneumonia can be deadly. The disease is hard to treat because the bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics. Pneumococcal disease kills about 4,000 to 5,000 people each year in the United States.
Anyone can get pneumococcal disease. You are at greater risk if you are 65 or older, very young, or have heart or lung disease.
You can protect yourself against the serious types of blood and brain infections by getting vaccinated.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent pneumococcal infection.
Pneumococcal Vaccine Schedule
Children should receive 4 doses of PCV. The first dose should be given at 2 months, the second dose at 4 months, the third dose at 6 months, and the fourth dose at 12-15 months.
You should get PPSV if you are age 65 years or older. You might need this shot before age 65 years if you are a smoker or if you have a long-term health condition such as asthma or heart, lung, or kidney disease. Some adults with certain high risk conditions also need vaccination with PCV. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you need this vaccine.
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Trusted Websites
Pneumococcal
Pneumococcal
Find fact sheets, resources, multimedia, and more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Information about Pneumococcal Disease
Information about Pneumococcal Disease
Includes information about the disease, immunization, recommendations, and resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics
A Look at Each Vaccine: Pneumococcal
A Look at Each Vaccine: Pneumococcus Vaccine
Questions and answers about the disease and vaccines from the Vaccine Education Center
Kids Health
KidsHealth
About the infection, including signs and symptoms, contagiousness, prevention, incubation, duration and treatment
World Pneumonia Day
World Pneumonia Day
Pneumonia is one of the most solvable problems in global health and yet a child dies from the infection every 20 seconds. Join the effort!
View all diseases and vaccines
Video Library
Video: One Family's Struggle with Pneumococcal Disease
One Family's Struggle with Pneumococcal Disease: One mother shares the heart-wrenching account of her family's struggles with pneumococcal disease affecting both of her young children. Abigail, her almost two-year-old daughter, died of overwhelming sepsis due to pneumococcal disease. Vaccination can prevent pneumococcal disease, which causes tens of thousands of hospitalizations and many deaths each year in the United States.
>> view all pneumococcal videos
Personal Testimonies
Stories of suffering and loss from pneumococcal
Three-Year-Old's Ordeal with Severe Pneumococcal Disease Includes Bloodstream and Lung Infection
Boy Dies of Pneumococcal Meningitis
Pneumococcal Pneumonia: How I let down my friend
>> view all personal testimonies
More Pneumococcal Information
Pneumococcal: Make sure your child is protected
Pneumococcal: Make sure your child is protected
Vaccine summary for parents
>> Spanish-language
Protect Yourself from Pneumococcal
Protect Yourself from Pneumococcal
Vaccine summary for teens and adults
>> Spanish-language
Pneumococcal Questions & Answers
Pneumococcal Q&As
Pneumococcal disease and vaccine information
Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots
Clear Answers & Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots
By Ari Brown, MD, FAAP
Pneumococcal: Overview for Parents
Overview for Parents
Frequently asked questions
>> Spanish-language
Pneumococcal Fact Sheet
Pneumococcal Fact Sheet
More in-depth information, includes a real-life story
Pneumococcal Photos
Some of the images are quite graphic
>> view pneumococcal photos
 
This page was reviewed on March 3, 2014
Immunization Action Coalition   •  Saint Paul, MN
tel 651-647-9009  •  fax 651-647-9131
 
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a non-profit organization, works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.