Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent (Systemic)
Brand Names : Pneumovax 23, Pnu-Imune 23
Pneumococcal (NEU-mo-KOK-al) vaccine polyvalent is
an active immunizing agent used to prevent infection by pneumococcal bacteria.
It works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against
The following information applies only to the polyvalent 23 pneumococcal
vaccine. Other polyvalent pneumococcal vaccines may be available in countries
other than the U.S.
Pneumococcal infection can cause serious problems, such as pneumonia, which
affects the lungs; meningitis, which affects the brain; bacteremia, which
is a severe infection in the blood; and possibly death. These problems are
more likely to occur in older adults and persons with certain diseases or
conditions that make them more susceptible to a pneumococcal infection or
more apt to develop serious problems from a pneumococcal infection.
Unless otherwise contraindicated, immunization against pneumococcal disease
is recommended for all adults and children 2 years of age and older, especially:
Older adults, especially those 65 years of age and older.
Adults and children 2 to 64 years of age with chronic illnesses.
Adults and children 2 to 64 years of age with sickle cell disease,
those with spleen problems or without spleens, and those who are to have their
Adults and children 2 to 64 years of age who are at increased risk
for pneumococcal disease because of other illness (e.g., heart disease, lung
disease, diabetes, alcoholism, and liver disease).
Adults and children 2 to 64 years of age who are living in special
environments or social settings (e.g., Alaskan Natives and certain American
Indian populations) and residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care
Adults and children 2 to 64 years of age with decreased disease-fighting
ability (e.g., those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, organ
or bone marrow transplantations, and cancer).
Immunization against pneumococcal infection is not recommended for infants
and children younger than 2 years of age, because these persons cannot produce
enough antibodies to the vaccine to protect them against a pneumococcal infection.
Pneumococcal vaccine usually is given only once to each person. Additional
injections are not given, except in special cases, because of the possibility
of more frequent and more severe side effects.
This vaccine is to be administered only by or under the supervision of
your doctor or other health care professional. It is available in the following
Injection (U.S. and Canada)
Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S. -
- Pneumovax 23
- Pnu-Imune 23
In Canada -