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Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Dosage

In most cases, the standard dosage of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is a single injection of 0.5 mL. However, a second dose may be required for some people, such as those with AIDS or leukemia. The vaccine is typically injected into a muscle or just under the skin, usually in the upper arm. If you are moderately to severely ill, you should postpone your vaccination.

An Introduction to Dosing for the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

The dosage of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax®) is the same for all approved age groups, regardless of age or weight.

Recommended Vaccination Schedule

For most people, only one dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is recommended. The standard dosage is 0.5 mL, injected into a muscle (intramuscularly) or just under the skin (subcutaneously).
However, people who remain at high risk of pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia may need a second dose if it has been five years or more since the first injection. People who should receive a second dosing include:
  • People age 65 and older who had the first pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine dosage before age of 65
  • People age 2 though 64 who:
    • Have a damaged spleen or no spleen
    • Have sickle cell disease
    • Have HIV or AIDS
    • Have cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma
    • Have nephritic syndrome
    • Have had a bone marrow transplant or organ transplant
    • Are taking immune-suppressing medications.

Timing of the Vaccine in Special Situations

In certain situations, appropriate timing of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is critical. For people who will be having a planned splenectomy (removal of the spleen), the vaccine should be given at least two weeks ahead of time, if possible.
Similarly, the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine should be given at least two weeks before starting chemotherapy or other immune-suppressing therapy, such as radiation. Vaccinations should be avoided during chemotherapy and radiation, and for a certain period afterwards, depending on several factors.
People with HIV or AIDS should be vaccinated as soon as possible after their diagnosis, regardless of whether they have AIDS symptoms.
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Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Information

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