(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
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."
Thimerosal Content and Other Concerns
Prevnar 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.