Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

If you are over 65 years old, your healthcare provider may recommend the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. This product helps prevent bacteremia, pneumonia, and other conditions caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. In certain situations, it may also be recommended for people between 2 and 65 years of age. The most common side effects of the vaccine include swelling, redness, and other injection site reactions.

What Is the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine?

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax®) is used to prevent pneumococcal disease, a group of infections (such as pneumonia or bacteremia) caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is recommended as a routine vaccination for people age 65 and older and in special situations for people age two and older.
 
(Click What Is the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Are There Side Effects?

Just like any vaccine, the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine may cause side effects. However, not everyone who receives it will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well, with only minor side effects, if any.
 
If adverse reactions do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can be treated easily by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
 
The most common side effects seen with the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine include:
 
  • Injection site reactions, such as pain, redness, or swelling
  • A low-grade fever.
     
(Click Side Effects of the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine to learn more, including potentially serious problems you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)
 
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
Other Articles in This eMedTV Presentation
eMedTV Links
Copyright © 2006-2014 Clinaero, Inc.

eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.

This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.