Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine

What you should know before your child gets the vaccine

About the Disease

Streptococcus Pneumoniae accounts for over 7 million cases of otitis media (middle ear infection) in the United States each year as well as being responsible for many cases of pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis. Worldwide, 1.2 million children die as a result of pneumococcal disease. The highest incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease occurs in children under 5 years of age, with the highest attack rates in infants.

Benefits of the Vaccine

Vaccination is the best way to protect against pneumococcal disease. It will not only reduce hospitalization and death from pneumococcal disease, but has been shown to reduce ear infections, and the need for ear tubes. Since Streptococcus Pneumoniae is carried mainly by children, the vaccine will reduce transmission of this bacteria to the elderly, in whom it could be deadly.

Who Should get the Vaccine

The Risks of the Vaccine

Pneumococcal vaccine has very few side effects. And the risk of the vaccine is much less than the risks of the disease. The reactions noted with this vaccine are similar to those seen with other childhood vaccines. In clinical trials, the most commonly reported side effects were site reactions, fever, irritability, drowsiness, restless sleep and decreased appetite. They usually start within one day of the vaccination, and last up to 24-48 hours.


Children with mild infections with or without a low-grade fever can still get the immunization.