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Pneumococcal Vaccines

Pneumococcal vaccines are given to protect against infection from several types of pneumococcal bacteria. Infection with pneumococcal bacteria can cause invasive pneumococcal disease.

Pneumococcal-containing vaccines may be provided for free as part of routine immunizations in British Columbia. 

For more information about the vaccines, who should get them, the benefits and possible reactions, click on the links below to go to the specific HealthLink BC files.

Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13) Vaccine

Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV 13) vaccine protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. 

Healthy infants need 3 shots at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. 

Infants and children at higher risk of pneumococcal disease get 4 shots at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months of age. 

Some people 5 years of age and older with certain medical conditions are at high risk of pneumococcal disease.  The PCV13 vaccine is provided free to:

  • children 5 to 18 years of age with no spleen, or a spleen that is not working properly; and
  • adults and children 5 years of age and older with HIV infection or who have had a stem cell transplant.

These individuals should also get a dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine after their last dose of PCV13.

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

  • An additional vaccine which protects against more types of pneumococcal bacteria
  • Not part of the routine immunization schedule for children
  • Provided for free for people at high risk
  • Given to people 2 years of age or older who have certain medical conditions

For more information about the pneumococcal vaccines and who should get them, see the following HealthLink BC files:

SOURCE: Pneumococcal Vaccines ( )
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