Vaccines to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease: PCV13(Pneumococcal Conjugate)

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus that can spread from person to person through close contact. PCV13 is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for all infants and child

Updated: June 16, 2022

It is important that children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time. Vaccines also protect teenagers and adults to keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus that can spread from person to person through close contact. PCV13 is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for all infants and children, and adults 19 years and older who are at increased risk for disease.

Different types of pneumococcal disease are:

  • lung infections (pneumonia)
  • blood infections (bacteremia)
  • infections of the covering of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis)
  • middle ear infections (otitis media)
Pneumococcal pneumonia is most common among adults. Pneumococcal meningitis can cause deafness and brain damage.
Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but People who are at the highest risk are:
  • children under 2 years of age
  • adults 65 years and older
  • people with certain medical conditions
  • cigarette smokers
Prevention of the disease through vaccination is important as the treatment of pneumococcal infections with penicillin and other drugs is not as effective as it used to be. This is because some strains of the disease have become resistant to these drugs.

PCV13 Vaccine:

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine called PCV13 protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria. PCV13 is routinely given to children at the age of 2, 4, 6, and 12 to 15 months. It is also recommended for children and adults 2 to 64 years of age with certain health conditions, and for all adults 65 years of age and older. Speak to your doctor for detail information.

You should not get this vaccine if:

  • you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a dose of this vaccine, to an earlier pneumococcal vaccine called PCV7, or to any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid, such as DTaP.
  • you have a severe allergy to any component of PCV13.
  • you are not feeling well on the day the vaccine is scheduled.

Risks of PCV13 vaccine:

There are chances of side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. Serious reactions are also possible but are rare. Problems following PCV13 varies by age and dose in the series. The most common problems among children are:
  • drowsy after the shot
  • temporary loss of appetite
  • redness or tenderness where the shot was given
  • swelling where the shot was given
  • mild or fever over 102.2°F
  • becoming fussy or irritable
Pain, redness, swelling where the shot was given, mild fever, fatigue, headache, chills, or muscle pain are some of the problems in adults after vaccination. Children who get PCV13 along with inactivated flu vaccine at the same time may be at increased risk for seizures caused by fever. Speak to your doctor for more information.

Problems that could happen after any vaccine:

  • Sometimes people faint after vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting. If you feel dizzy, have vision changes or ringing in the ears, speak to your doctor.
  • In some cases severe pain in the shoulder and difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given could happen.
  • A severe allergic reaction would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
  • There is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death. The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. You can get all the information from Vaccine Safety site.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes , call 9-1-1 or find the nearest hospital.
The reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) through the VAERS website or by calling 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
If you are injured by a vaccine, you can file a claim in  National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website to get the compensation.

Learn more about Vaccine:

Your doctor can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
You can call your local or state health department or can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by:
        Calling 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)
        Visiting  CDC vaccines website

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