Vaccination is the best protection against serious pneumococcal infections and their complications. For example, bacteremia, a blood infection with or without pneumonia, and meningitis, an infection of the lining that covers the brain, are 2 serious infections caused by pneumococcus.
There are many types of pneumococcus. Conjugate vaccines protect against the most common types. Unfortunately, no vaccine protects against all types of pneumococcus.
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is indicated for all children, at 2 months, 4 months and 12 months of age.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines stimulate the immune system, which then prepares antibodies to defend itself against these bacteria.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines don’t contain the bacteria. They are composed of glucose and proteins found on the surface of the bacteria that can’t infect the person receiving the vaccine. In other words, the vaccines can’t transmit pneumococcal infection.
Like many other vaccines, pneumococcal conjugate vaccines contain an adjuvant, used to boost the immune system’s response to the vaccine. The vaccines contain no preservatives, latex, antibiotics, thimerosal or mercury.
Some symptoms may be caused by the vaccine, such as redness at the injection site. Other problems may occur by chance and are not related to the vaccine, for example a cold, gastroenteritis or a headache.
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is safe. In most cases, it does not cause any reactions.
The nature and frequency of possible reactions to vaccine
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