About the pneumococcal vaccines

  • There are 2 types of pneumococcal vaccines offered in the Yukon to prevent or lessen the complications of pneumococcal infections:
    • The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is part of the routine Yukon Children’s Immunization Schedule. This vaccine covers 13 different strains of the bacteria.
    • The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) covers 23 different strains of the bacteria.
  • The type of vaccine recommended depends on a person's age and risk factors. 


 Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) vaccine

  • The PCV13 vaccine is part of the routine Yukon Children’s Immunization Program.
  • This vaccine is given as a series of 3 doses:
    • 1st dose is given at 2 months of age;
    • 2nd at 4 months of age; and
    • 3rd dose at 12 months of age.
  • Children at high risk for pneumococcal disease should receive an additional dose at 6 months of age.
  • In consultation with a specialist, this vaccine is also recommended for people with medical conditions that put them at high risk of pneumococcal disease, such as immunosuppressive therapy. 


Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV23) vaccine

  • The PPV23 vaccine is recommended and provided free to people who are at high risk of getting sick from pneumococcal infections. These people include:
    • seniors 65 years and older;
    • residents of any age living in long-term care homes or assisted living facilities;
    • people 2 years of age and older who have certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors that put them at high risk for pneumococcal disease, such as diabetes or chronic heart or lung disease.
  • A 2nd dose of vaccine is recommended for people with certain medical conditions. Speak with your health care provider to find out if a 2nd dose is needed and when to get it.  
  • Pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria called pneumococcus and can cause many different types of infections.
  • The bacteria can cause ear and sinus infections to more serious and potentially fatal infections of the blood (bacteremia), lungs (pneumonia), or lining of the brain (meningitis).
  • Pneumococcal disease is easily spread through sneezing, coughing or from direct contact with saliva, such as when people share food or drinks.
  • For every 4 children who get sick with pneumococcal meningitis, 1 may die.
  • This vaccines are safe and very effective.
  • The pneumococcal vaccines are the best way to protect against pneumococcal infection and its complications.
  • When you or your child get vaccinated, you help protect the spread to others too.
  • This vaccination is free in the Yukon to the groups listed above.
  • Common reactions to the immunization may include redness, tenderness and swelling at the injection site.
  • Some people may develop a fever, irritability or discomfort. These are generally mild and last 1 to 2 days.
  • Side effects of the immunization are easily relieved by applying a cold and damp compress to the site and administering acetaminophen or ibuprofen for temperatures 38.5°C or higher. See your health care provider if your symptoms are severe or last longer than 48 hours.
  • It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any immunization because there is a rare possibility of developing a severe allergic reaction which is treatable at the clinic. This happens to fewer than 1 in 1 million people. If it happens after you leave the clinic, call 911 or the local emergency number.

Find out how to get immunized