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Pneumococcal Vaccine

The vaccine recommended for all children between 6 weeks and less than 6 years of age protects them against 13 strains of pneumococcal diseases. Previous pneumococcal vaccines have protected children against 7 and 10 strains of the disease.
 
Who should get the vaccine? 
Healthy children should get 3 doses of the pneumococcal vaccine, when they are:
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old, and
  • 12 months old. 
Children considered high risk for acquiring pneumococcal disease should receive 4 doses of the vaccine at:
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old, and
  • 15 months old. 
Who is considered high risk for the pneumococcal vaccine?
Medical conditions that increase an individual’s risk for invasive pneumococcal disease are:
  • Chronic respiratory disease (excludes asthma, except those treated with high-dose corticosteroid therapy).
  • Chronic cardiac disease.
  • Cirrhosis.
  • Chronic renal disease or nephrotic syndrome.
  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Asplenia, splenic dysfunction, sickle-cell disease and other sickle cell haemoglobinopathies.
  • Chronic cerebrospinal fluid leak.
  • Primary immune deficiency.
  • HIV infection and other conditions with immunosuppression.
  • Solid organ transplant recipients.
  • Cochlear implant recipients (pre/post implants).
Who should NOT get this vaccine?
  • Anyone with a known hypersensitivity to any component of the vaccine, including diphtheria toxoid. 
 
What if my child has received the other pneumococcal vaccine(s)?
  • Children can safely complete their pneumococcal vaccine series with Pneu –C -13 regardless of the previous vaccine administered.
  • Healthy individuals and those with high risk conditions under 6 years of age who have completed their pneumococcal vaccine series are recommended to receive a booster dose of Pneu – C -13. 
Is the pneumococcal vaccine safe?
The vaccine is very safe. With any vaccine, there may be some redness or soreness at the place where the needle went into the arm or leg. Some children will have a mild fever after getting the vaccine. Other possible side effects include fussiness, drowsiness, restless sleep, decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, rash or hives.
 
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