Infections such as bacterial meningitis and bacteremia can often be prevented with the vaccine Prevnar 13. It is given as one to four doses, depending on the age when the first dose is given. Although most people tolerate it well, side effects can include redness and swelling at the injection site.
What Is Prevnar 13?Prevnar 13® (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) is a childhood vaccine approved for use in children who are six weeks old up through five years of age (before the sixth birthday) to prevent the following infections:
- Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), a group of potentially life-threatening diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, such as bacterial meningitis and bacteremia
- Ear infections caused by certain types of S. pneumoniae.
Prevnar 13 is also approved for preventing pneumonia and other invasive pneumococcal diseases in adults age 50 years and older.
Prevnar 13 protects against 13 different types of S. pneumoniae, compared to only 7 types with the previous version of this vaccine, which is known simply as "Prevnar."
(Click Prevnar 13 Uses for more information on what this medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Thimerosal Content and Other ConcernsPrevnar 13 does not contain any thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative. People who are concerned about exposure to this substance can be confident that this vaccine has no thimerosal -- not even trace amounts.
Some people also are concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines. This vaccine contains 125 mcg (0.125 mg) of aluminum per dose. Prevnar 13 is not made from animal components or human fetal cell lines, unlike some vaccines.