Vaccination is the best way to protect against pneumococcal infection, a serious and sometimes fatal disease.
Vaccines are very safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get pneumococcal disease.
There are two types of vaccines that protect against either 13 or 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
In June of 2010, the PCV 13 vaccine replaced the PCV 7 vaccine which had been used in BC since 2003. The PCV 13 vaccine protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
The pneumococcal conjugate (PCV 13) vaccine is free for children as part of their routine immunizations. Children get the 1st dose at 2 months of age, the 2nd at 4 months, and the 3rd at 12 months.
An extra dose of vaccine is given at 6 months of age for children who have
Children under 5 years of age with any of the above medical conditions who completed a PCV 7 vaccine series should also receive 1 dose of PCV 13 vaccine.
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:
For more information about the PCV 13 vaccine, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC File: Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV 13) Vaccine.
The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. This vaccine is not part of the routine schedule of childhood immunizations. It is however provided free to people at high risk of getting sick from pneumococcal infections, including:
The vaccine is also provided free to anyone who is 2 years of age and older with the following conditions:
A 2nd dose of vaccine is recommended for people with certain medical conditions. Speak with your health care provider to find out if you need a 2nd dose of vaccine and when you should get it.
For more information about the vaccine, the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC File: Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine.
Photo courtesy of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. More vaccine preventable disease images
If you are a health care provider looking for immunization information, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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