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Pneumococcal Vaccine for Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is the pneumococcal vaccine?

The pneumococcal vaccine is given as a shot to protect your child from pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease develops from an infection caused by pneumococcal bacteria. The infection may cause pneumonia or an ear infection. Pneumococcal disease is spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing. The vaccine comes in 2 forms, called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV). Your child's healthcare provider will tell you which form is right for your child. The pneumococcal vaccine is often given with polio, hepatitis B, DTaP, and Hib vaccines. Your child may need these or other childhood vaccines at certain ages.

Recommended Pneumococcal Immunization Schedule

When should my child get the pneumococcal vaccine?

What happens if my child misses a dose of the pneumococcal vaccine?

Your child will need 1 dose if he or she is 2 to 5 years old and is not completely vaccinated. If your child misses a scheduled dose, the remaining doses should still be completed. Ask your child's healthcare provider when to return for the next dose.

What are reasons my child should not get the pneumococcal vaccine?

Your child had an allergic reaction to the vaccine or to a vaccine for diphtheria, such as DTaP, Tdap, or Td. Tell your child's healthcare provider if your child had an allergic reaction to any other vaccine. Also tell the provider if your child has any serious allergies.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What are reasons my child should wait to get the pneumococcal vaccine?

What are the risks of the pneumococcal vaccine?

The area where the vaccine was given may be red, tender, or swollen. Your child may get a fever, be fussy or irritable, or have a decreased appetite. Your child may still get pneumococcal disease, even after getting the vaccine. Your child may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Pneumococcal Vaccine for Children

Treatment options

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.