Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine
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You should talk with your healthcare provider before you receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine if you have:
- Had any sort of a reaction to a vaccine before
- A moderate or severe illness
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Chronic cerebrospinal fluid leakage due to a skull fracture, brain surgery, or any other cause
- Any allergies, including to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Pneumovax and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Pneumovax and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell the healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine to learn more, including information on who should not receive this vaccination.)
The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine does not contain 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 no aluminum. In addition, it is not made from animal components or human fetal cell lines, unlike some vaccines.