Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine


Vaccination is the best protection against serious pneumococcal infections and their complications. For instance, bacteremia that is a blood infection, with or without pneumonia, and meningitis that is an infection of the brain lining are 2 serious infections caused by pneumococcus.

There are several types of pneumococcus. Conjugate vaccine provides protection from 10 types (Synflorix vaccine) or 13 types (Prevnar 13 vaccine), the most frequent types.

Conjugate pneumococcal vaccine is indicated for all children from ages 2 months to 4 years. The vaccine is recommended for persons ages 5 to 17 who have a medical condition that increases their risk of serious pneumococcal infection. Adults whose spleen is missing or malfunctioning, by surgery or after certain diseases, or whose immune system has been weakened should also receive this vaccine. The number of doses to be received varies according to the person’s age and medical condition.


Some symptoms may be caused by the vaccine, e.g. redness at the injection site. Other problems may occur by chance and are not related to the vaccine, e.g. cold, gastro, headache.

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is safe. In most cases, it does not cause any reaction.

The Nature and Frequency of Possible Reactions to Vaccine

Frequency Possible reactions to the vaccine

Very often
(less than 50% of people)

  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • Slight fever, irritability, loss of appetite, changes in sleep in children
  • Headache, muscle pain, joint pain, shivering, fatigue, skin rash, diarrhea, vomiting in adults

(less than 10% of people)

  • High fever, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rash in children
  • Slight fever in adults

(less than 1% of people)

  • Redness swelling, small lump for a few weeks covering an area more than 7 cm in diameter at the injection site in children
  • Convulsions due for fever, unusual or persistent crying in young children
  • Swollen lymph nodes, allergic reaction in adults

(less than 1 person in 1,000)

  • Episodes similar to loss of consciousness (paleness, weakness, lack of reaction), allergic reaction in children

What to Do after Vaccination

Tips to follow immediately following vaccination

Wait 15 minutes before leaving premises where vaccine is received. If an allergic reaction occurs, the symptoms will appear a few minutes after the vaccination.

If you feel side effects, immediately inform the person giving the vaccine. That person will be able to treat you immediately.

Tips to follow at home

If you experience redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, apply a cold, damp compress on it.

Use medication for fever or discomfort if needed.

When to Seek Medical Help

See a doctor if one of the following applies to you:

  • You experience serious and unusual symptoms
  • Your symptoms get worse instead of improving
  • Your symptoms last over 48 hours

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Last update: July 27, 2017 3:24 PM


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