Pneumococcal infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia, meningitis, bacteraemia and other life-threatening ailments. Serious pneumococcal infections are a global health problem, but they can be prevented with vaccination.
Although anyone can get pneumococcal disease, those at particularly high risk are infants and young children, adults who are 65 and older and individuals with chronic medical illnesses or weakened immune systems.
Children under the age of 5 and adults aged 65 years and above, are among those who are at highest risk for pneumococcal disease. Within three days of becoming infected the following signs and symptoms may appear.
Symptoms can vary based on the systems affected.
Vaccination is generally the safest and most effective way to protect young children, older adults and those with specific medical conditions against pneumococcal disease. There are several types of pneumococcal vaccines described in the section below.
At 4, 6 and 12 months of age. Children who fall behind should be given catch-up vaccination through to 59 months of age.
1 dose of PPSV23 and
1 dose of PCV13
1 dose of PCV13 at any time and
an additional dose of PPSV23 to be given after the age of 65
This protects against 23 pneumococcal serotypes.
This protects against 13 pneumococcal serotypes.
This protects against 10 pneumococcal serotypes.
Refer to this table for the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule or ask your child's doctor for more details. The vaccine may cause mild fever and some soreness around the site of injection, which usually lasts only a short time.
MediSave can be used to offset the remaining cost of Pneumococcal Vaccinations for eligible Singaporeans (Citizens and Permanent Residents). Up to $500/$700 per year per account can be used to pay for pneumococcal vaccinations for those in high-risk groups as indicated above.
here for more information on subsidies available, other vaccine-preventable diseases and frequently asked questions.
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This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
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