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10/03/23 Public Health Topic: Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal [noo-muh-KOK-uhl] disease is a name for any infection caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. There are vaccines to help prevent pneumococcal disease.

Fast Facts You Need to Know about Pneumococcal Disease

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1. Pneumococcal disease can be very serious.

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia causes an estimated 150,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States.

  • Pneumococcal meningitis and bacteremia killed approximately 3,250 people in the United States in 2019.

Learn about pneumococcal disease symptoms and complications. 2. Anyone can get pneumococcal disease.

  • Young children and older adults are at increased risk compared to other age groups.

  • Certain medical conditions and other risk factors put people at increased risk for pneumococcal disease.

Learn about groups at increased risk for pneumococcal disease. 3. CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccines for children and adults. Children All children younger than 5 years old and children 5 through 18 years old with certain medical conditions that increase their risk of pneumococcal disease should receive PCV13 or PCV15. Children 2 through 18 years old with certain medical conditions should also receive PPSV23. Adults Adults who have never received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine should receive PCV15 or PCV20 if they:

  • Are 65 years or older

  • Are 19 through 64 years old and have certain medical conditions or other risk factors

If PCV15 is used, it should be followed by a dose of PPSV23. Adults who received an earlier pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 or PCV7) should talk with a vaccine provider to learn about available options to complete their pneumococcal vaccine series. Adults 65 years or older have the option to get PCV20 if they have already received

  • PCV13 (but not PCV15 or PCV20) at any age


  • PPSV23 at or after the age of 65 years old

These adults can talk with their doctor and decide, together, whether to get PCV20.

For additional information visit: About Pneumococcal Disease | CDC

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