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What is Pneumococcal vaccine?

pneumococcal
Image source: CDC PHIL

NVIC strongly recommends reading the vaccine manufacturer product information insert before you or your child receives any vaccine, including pneumococcal vaccine. Product inserts are published by drug companies making vaccines and list important information about vaccine ingredients, reported health problems (adverse events) associated with the vaccine, and directions for who should and should not get the vaccine.

Links to the pneumococcal vaccine product inserts are available below or you can ask your doctor to give you a copy of the vaccine product insert to read before you or your child is vaccinated. It is best to ask your doctor for a copy of the product inserts for the vaccines you or your child is scheduled to receive well in advance of the vaccination appointment.

Pneumococcal Vaccines Licensed for Use in the U.S.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has approved two different pneumococcal containing shots. There are different rules for use of these vaccines by different aged groups.

Prevnar 13 is a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) manufactured by Wyeth (Pfizer) pharmaceuticals, containing Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F and 23F. Prevnar 13 does not protect against infection and disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae strains not present in the vaccine.

Prevnar 13 is approved for the following uses:

  • In children between the ages of six weeks and five years of age for the prevention of invasive disease and otitis media;
  • In children and teenagers between the ages of six and seventeen years of age for the prevention of invasive disease;
  • In adults eighteen years of age and older for the prevention of pneumonia and invasive disease.

Prevnar 13 is a 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine containing Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, and 23F, each individually linked to non-toxic diphtheria CRM197 protein. Serotypes are each grown in a soy peptone broth and each polysaccharide is purified. Each polysaccharide is then chemically activated to make saccharide and linked to the Diphtheria CRM197 protein to form the glycoconjugate. CRM197, a nontoxic variant of diphtheria toxin, is isolated from cultures of Corynebacterium diphtheria strain C7 which has been grown in a yeast extract and casamino acids based medium or in a chemically-defined medium. CRM197 and each glycoconjugate is then purified and the individual glycoconjugates are joined to make Prevnar 13. Each 0.5ml dose of Prevnar 13 contains approximately 2.2 μg of Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, 23F saccharides, 4.4 μg of 6B saccharides, 34 μg CRM197 carrier protein, 295 μg succinate buffer, 100 μg polysorbate 80, and 125 μg aluminum as aluminum phosphate adjuvant.

PNEUMOVAX23 is a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) manufactured by Merck and contains Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 8, 9N, 9V, 10A, 11A,12F, 14, 15B, 17F, 18C, 19F, 19A, 20, 22F, 23F, and 33F. Pneumovax 23 does not protect against infection and disease caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae strains not present in the vaccine.

PNEUMOVAX23 is approved for use in adults 50 years of age or older and in children 2 and older who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease.

PNEUMOVAX23 is a polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine and contains a mixture of purified capsular polysaccharides comprised of Streptococcus pneumoniae types 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 8, 9N, 9V, 10A, 11A, 12F, 14, 15B, 17F, 18C, 19F, 19A, 20, 22F, 23F, and 33F. PNEUMOVAX 23 is a clear, colorless and sterile solution and each 0.5-mL dose of vaccine contains 25 micrograms of each type of polysaccharide in an isotonic saline solution containing 0.25% phenol as a preservative.

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Pneumococcal and the Pneumococcal vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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