The pneumococcal vaccine protects you against pneumococcal infection caused by the streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Pneumococcal infection can cause serious complications such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis. Routinely adults aged 65 years and over are recommended one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, PPV23). Generally, for older adults one dose of the pneumococcal vaccine after the age of 65 provides life-long protection- you do not need to the vaccine every year.
Revaccination is not normally required. Revaccination with PPV23 can produce severe local reactions especially if given within 5 years of previous injection.
Aged 65 and older
Those aged 65 years and older who have never previously received PPV23 require one dose only. No further doses are required regardless of immune status. For those who received
a previous dose of PPV23 at less than 65 years of age, a once only booster vaccine is recommended 5 years after the first vaccine.
Less than 65 years of age
One booster vaccine is recommended 5 years after the first PPV23 vaccine for those whose antibody levels are likely to decline rapidly e.g. asplenia, hyposplenism, immunosuppression including HIV infection, chronic renal disease, nephrotic syndrome or renal transplant.
If PPV23 was given during chemotherapy or radiotherapy a further dose of PPV23 vaccine is recommended 3 months after treatment.