There are two vaccines available to protect children from pneumococcal disease, a serious infection caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pneumoniae. Only one of the vaccines, PCV13, is considered safe for children under the age of 2, This vaccine is important because infants and very young children are at higher risk for several dangerous infections, including pneumonia and bacterial meningitis. Some older children may also need to be treated with PCV13.
The second vaccine, PPSV23, has been available for more than 30 years and is recommended for children two years and older. It protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Here is information about these vaccines to help you make informed decisions about protecting the health of your children as well as your own.