Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

Polysaccharide Vaccine

Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria causes Pneumococcal disease, which can be spread to anyone, but people who are over the age of 65, or are very young, are more susceptible. People who smoke, have a weak immune system, or suffer other health problems are also more prone because their immune systems are too weak to protect them.

The reason for the Vaccine

Once the Pneumococcal disease enters the body, it can cause infections of the lungs, or pneumonia, and can cause infections in the blood, bacteremia, and meningitis. Pneumococcal pneumonia kills about one in every twenty people who develop this lung infection. Approximately one in every five people will die from Bacteremia, and approximately every three out of ten people will die from meningitis.

Although in the past infections were cured with an antibiotic, this is not the case today. There are now different strains of this disease, and it has built up a resistance to all the medications used to treat it. Not only does this make the treatment hard to find, but it also makes prevention of this disease almost impossible.


The vaccine created for this disease is called Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV. It protects one individual from 23 different types of the pneumococcal bacteria as well as the other strains that cause serious disease.

Healthy Adults, Elderly, and Children

Healthy adults who choose to be vaccinated will normally develop a protection against most, if not all, of these strains within a short period of two to three weeks after the injection.

Children younger than two years, adults over the age of sixty-five, and others who have long-term illnesses may experience a longer wait between the time they are injected and the time that they are immunized.

Who should avoid the Vaccination?

If a child suffers with frequent ear infections, upper respiratory infections, or sinus infections, then s(he) should not be vaccinated because the PPSV would not be effective against these conditions.

If anyone suffers from an allergic reaction that could be life threatening, they may have an allergic reaction to PPSV; or if they have had the PPSV and suffered a severe allergic reaction, they should avoid the vaccine.

Anyone suffering from a moderate to severe illness at the time the shot is scheduled to be administered should postpone vaccination.

If you are pregnant , talk to your doctor first before getting the shot.


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