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Home > > Health & WellnessPneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Immunizations

Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Immunizations

Who Should Get the Vaccine and When?

Infants and toddlers should receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). The protections lasts at least three years. Some older children and adults should receive a different vaccine called pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV).

The routine schedule for PCV is four doses, one at each of the following ages:

  • A dose at two months
  • A dose at four months
  • A dose at six months
  • A dose at 12-15 months

Children who weren't vaccinated at these ages can still get the vaccine. The number of doses needed depends on the child's age.

Usually, just one dose of PPV is needed. People who should receive PPV include:

  • all adults over 65 years of age
  • anyone over two years of age who has a long-term health problem such as: heart disease, sickle cell, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, alcoholism
  • anyone over two years of age who has a disease or condition that lowers the body's resistance to infection, such as: Hodgkin's disease, kidney failure, damaged or no spleen, organ transplant, lymphoma, leukemia, HIV/AIDS
  • anyone over two years of age who is taking any drug or treatment that lowers the body's resistance to infection, such as: long-term steroids, radiation therapy, certain cancer drugs
  • Alaskan Native and certain Native American populations

Who Should Not Get Vaccine?

Children should not get PCV if they have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, or have a severe allergy to a vaccine component. Tell your health care provider if your child has any known severe allergies.

Children who are moderately or severely ill should wait until they feel better before getting the vaccine. Children with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated.

What are the Risks from PCV?

Most reactions to PCV are mild. They include:

  • Redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever
  • Fussiness, drowsiness, or loss of appetite

So far, no serious reactions have been associated with PCV. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, could cause serious problems, such as a severe allergic reaction. The risk of this vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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