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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) can prevent pneumococcal disease.
Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs. Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most common causes of pneumonia.
Besides pneumonia, pneumococcal bacteria can also cause:
Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but children under 2 years of age, people with certain medical conditions, adults 65 years or older, and cigarette smokers are at the highest risk.
Most pneumococcal infections are mild. However, some can result in long-term problems, such as brain damage or hearing loss. Meningitis, bacteremia, and pneumonia caused by pneumococcal disease can be fatal.
PPSV23 protects against 23 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease.
PPSV23 is recommended for:
Most people need only one dose of PPSV23. A second dose of PPSV23, and another type of pneumococcal vaccine called PCV13, are recommended for certain high-risk groups. Your health care provider can give you more information.
People 65 years or older should get a dose of PPSV23 even if they have already gotten one or more doses of the vaccine before they turned 65.
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone PPSV23 vaccination to a future visit.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting PPSV23.
Your health care provider can give you more information.
People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.
For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.
Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov at www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.
Vaccine Information Statement
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Many Vaccine Information Statements are available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis.
Hojas de información Sobre Vacunas están disponibles en español y en muchos otros idiomas. Visite http://www.immunize.org/vis.
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