Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Information
A routine childhood vaccine, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar 13®) is used to prevent pneumococcal disease, including serious pneumococcal diseases, as well as ear infections. It is most often used in infants and toddlers; however, it can also be used in older children who did not receive the vaccine earlier.
Most importantly, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine helps to prevent invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), a group of serious infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. IPD diseases include:
- Bacterial meningitis (S. pneumoniae is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United States)
- Bacteremia (a bloodstream infection)
Most children have no problems with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; however, the product's safety information should be reviewed so that you are aware of possible side effects (such as drowsiness, irritability, and decreased appetite) and know the warning signs of an allergic reaction or other serious problem that requires prompt medical attention.
(For more detailed information, including details on whether this product contains thimerosal, click Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine.)