This vaccine helps protect young children (e.g., infants and toddlers) against serious infections (e.g., meningitis, pneumonia, chronic ear infections) due to certain bacteria (Streptococcus pneumoniae).
Different brands of pneumococcal vaccine have different recommendations for use based on the age of the child.
Some brands are also approved for use in older children and in adults over 50 years of age.
Another form of this vaccine should be used if the child is older than 2 years and has certain medical conditions (heart disease, lung disease, liver disease, diabetes, spleen problems, sickle cell anemia, HIV infection). Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This vaccine is injected into a muscle by a health care professional. It is usually injected into the thigh in infants or into the upper arm in toddlers, children, and adults.
The child may receive up to 4 injections. The number of injections that are given depends on the age of the child. Adults only receive 1 injection.
If the child is receiving this vaccination before spleen surgery or before receiving cancer chemotherapy or other drugs that decrease the immune system function, it should be given at least 2 weeks before these procedures to be effective. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Injection site reactions (e.g., pain, redness, swelling, hard lump), muscle/joint aches, or fever may occur. Ask your doctor about taking a fever/pain reducer (e.g., acetaminophen) to help treat these symptoms. Drowsiness, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, or diarrhea may also occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Infrequently, temporary symptoms such as fainting/dizziness/lightheadedness, vision changes, numbness/tingling, or seizure-like movements have happened after vaccine injections. Tell your health care provider right away if you have any of these symptoms soon after receiving an injection. Sitting or lying down may relieve symptoms.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
Contact your doctor for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US, you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other vaccines (e.g., diphtheria, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as latex or dry natural rubber that can be found in the product packaging), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: vaccination/immunization history, recent illness/fever, bleeding problems (e.g., low platelets).
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin or heparins), cancer chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids (e.g., dexamethasone, prednisone), drugs that weaken the immune system (e.g., cyclosporine, tacrolimus).
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
It is important to understand the risks and benefits of vaccinations. Discuss this with your doctor.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the need for other vaccines to prevent possibly severe illness (e.g., flu shots).
Make sure all of your doctors know you have received this vaccine. Make sure a note is placed in your medical record of having received this vaccine.
It is important to receive each vaccination as scheduled. Be sure to ask when each dose should be received and make a note of the schedule.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised July 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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