The pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. It’s also known as the pneumonia vaccine.
Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis.
Who should have the pneumococcal vaccine?
- There are 4 groups of people who are advised to get vaccinated against pneumococcal infections:
- people aged 65 and over
- anyone from the ages of 2 to 64 with a health condition that increases their risk of pneumococcal infection
- anyone at occupational risk, such as welders
Babies are routinely vaccinated with a type of pneumococcal vaccine known as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) as part of their childhood vaccination programme.