Pneumococcal Vaccine


In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for pneumococcal vaccine PneumovaxTM, Pnu-ImmuneTM.

What it’s for & How to take

Pneumococcal Vaccine helps protect against specific types of infections caused by certain bacteria. People at risk may include those with heart, liver or lung disease, diabetes, alcoholism, spleen problems, HIV, or others who may have a poor immune system.

Illnesses or health problems may allow specific bacteria to spread into the blood, lungs, or brain where they can cause serious diseases such as a lung, blood or brain infection. Pneumococcal Vaccine will not protect against infections caused by bacteria that are not in the vaccine.

Pneumococcal Vaccine is indicated for use in all patients greater than 65 years old and in patients with poor immune systems less than 65 but at least 2 years old. This vaccine is injected into a muscle or under the skin by a health care professional. Depending on your age and condition, your doctor may recommend that you receive a second dose of pneumococcal vaccine 5 years after your first dose.

If this vaccination is to be given before spleen surgery, chemotherapy or before any other medication regimen that may decrease your immune system, make sure it is given at least two weeks before the procedure to assure the vaccination works appropriately.

Warnings & Cautions

  • You should not get this vaccine if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, have had an allergic reaction to the pneumococcal vaccine in the past, or if you are less than 2 years old.
  • Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before receiving this vaccination.

Interactions & Side Effects

  • Before receiving the pneumococcal vaccination, make sure your healthcare provider is aware of all your medication allergies, medication you take, and your complete medical history. Your description of your allergies, medications and medical history will help your pharmacist or doctor decide whether it is safe for you to receive this vaccination.
  • Tell your health care provider if you have heart or lung problems, a fever, have a poor immune system or are receiving radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
  • After receiving the pneumococcal vaccine, you may experience some redness, soreness, swelling or perhaps some itching at the site of injection. It is possible that you may also experience a headache, a slight fever, and some body aches. If these or any other side effects persist or worsen, please notify your pharmacist or doctor to discuss it.
  • Serious adverse reactions to this vaccination are extremely rare; however, seek immediate medical attention if you experience signs of a serious allergic reaction such as itching or swelling of the tongue or throat, severe dizziness or trouble breathing.

If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Updated 7/20