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You are here : home > Child's Healthcare > Basics of immunization > Importance of the Pneumococcal Vaccine and Its Schedule

Importance of the Pneumococcal Vaccine and Its Schedule

Importance of the Pneumococcal Vaccine and Its Schedule

Pneumococcal vaccine can help to prevent sever diseases caused by bacteria known as Streptococcus pneumonia. Read on to learn more about the importance of Pneumococcal vaccine and its schedule.

Pneumococcal disease is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae leading to severe meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections like bacteremia, and also ear infections. It can be spread by droplets from the nose or mouth when the carrier patients breathe, sneeze, or cough. Children under 2 years of age are at highest risk for this disease and are strictly recommended to get vaccinated by Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV).

The advanced PCV vaccine is effective in infants and HIV- infected people against different strains of pneumococcal bacteria; thus it protects children against the disease and prevents spreading them. Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV) can be given to adults as they are at lesser risk. Both vaccines are inactivated and contain no live organisms.

What Is the Recommended Dosage?

Four doses of pneumococcal vaccine are all that your child needs against this serious illness.

What Is the Recommended Schedule for Children?

The following groups of children shall get this vaccination as per the given schedule:
  • Healthy children under 1 year of age shall receive PCV at 6, 10 and 14 weeks and a booster dose between 12-15 months of age.

  • Unimmunized and partially vaccinated children of 1-2 years of age shall receive a single dose of PCV.

  • In addition to PCV, children at special risk of infection shall also receive Pneumococcal Polyvalent Vaccine (PPV) at least 2 months after the last dose of PCV.

  • Immunocompromised children (like children who have sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS, damaged spleen, etc.) of 2-5 years of age require PCV followed by PPV at least 2 months after. The partially vaccinated ones need to have two doses of PCV followed by PPV after 2 months.
It is a must to vaccinate your child as per your child’s pediatrician’s advice.

What Is the Recommended Schedule for Adults?
  • Adults of 19-64 years with no spleen, splenic dysfunction, nephritic syndrome or chronic kidney disease, cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, etc. need a booster shot (one to two shots of PPSV) after every 5 years of vaccination.

  • Adults over 65 years of age who received PPSV before age 65 also need a booster shot if it has been more than 5 years since being vaccinated.

  • Adults should get PCV followed by PPSV after 8 weeks, if both have to be given.

  • An adult shall receive PCV one year or later if has already vaccinated by PPSV.

Who Should Avoid Getting Vaccinated?

Children should not get this vaccine under the following circumstances:
  • Moderately or severely ill during the time of vaccination.

  • Have a severe life-threatening allergic reaction to the previous vaccine dose.

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

The possible side effects for PCV are as follows:
  • May have soreness or redness at the site of injection

  • Drowsiness, irritability, and decreased appetite are reported less

  • Mild fever

  • Seizure is the rarest case
The possible side effects for PPSV are as follows:
  • May have soreness or redness at the site of injection

  • Fever, chills and a general sense of being ill for 1-2 days after injection are reported less

  • Allergic reactions leading to trouble breathing, becoming pale, weakness, fast heartbeat, and feeling dizzy are rarest
Both PCV and PPSV are safe, but with any medicine, there is always the possibility of a serious allergic reaction. Allergic reactions happen within a few minutes to few hours of the shot. The risk of serious harm or death is extremely small. Look for any unusual condition in your child. If you have any other concerns, you must talk to your doctor before getting yourself or your child vaccinated.

What is the schedule for giving pneumococcal vaccine to children? Why is it important to give pneumococcal vaccine to children? What to do if pneumococcal vaccine is missed? Discuss here.

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Sneha.1 year ago
My child was given vaccination at 4.5 years on his thigh, but it took more than a week for him to walk properly due to pain. Is it normal?
Palak.1 year ago
It is necessary to keep track of vaccination schedule as suggested by doctor.
Ishika.1 year ago
It is very important to give all vaccinations to children as per the schedule.
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