This product is taken via intramuscular injection.
Why is it prescribed?
Pneumococcal bacteria are the most common cause of bacterial infections in children and a frequent cause of infections in adults. Infection starts in the nose or throat where it may persist for weeks or months. Many people will not develop any symptoms, but others may develop serious pneumococcal disease including otitis media (ear infection), sinus infections, bronchitis or pneumonia, bacteremia or septicemia (blood), and meningitis.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is indicated for the immunization of infants and children from 6 weeks to 17 years of age and for the immunization of adults with immunocompromising conditions. It can also be considered for adults ≥65 years of age on an individual basis.
The doctor or nurse will inject the recommended dose (0.5 mL) of the vaccine into your child's arm or leg muscle.
Typically, your child should receive four doses of the vaccine.
Each dose will be given on a separate occasion. It is important to follow the instructions from the doctor/nurse so that your child completes the course of injections.
Prevnar-13® can be given at the same time as other childhood vaccines.
The dosing of Prevnar-13® is age-dependent. The following is a general guide. Please contact your local public health department for dosing.
For infants, the recommended immunization series consists of three doses of 0.5 mL each, at approximately 2-month intervals, followed by a fourth dose (booster) of 0.5 mL at 12-15 months of age (3+1 schedule). The customary age for the first dose is 2 months of age, but it can be given as young as 6 weeks of age. The recommended dosing interval is 4 to 8 weeks. The fourth dose should be administered at approximately 12-15 months of age, and at least 2 months after the third dose.
The dosage then varies depending on age of first dose and other health conditions.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Pneu-C-13) is made up of 13 strains of pneumococcal (pneumonia) bacteria combined with a carrier protein. When injected, the vaccine in the body familiarizes the immune system to the pneumococcal bacteria. If the person is exposed to the bacteria again, the immune system can mount a quick, specific attack against the bacteria and ultimately resist infection. Protection offered by this vaccine is only against those strains of bacteria from which the vaccine is prepared.
Along with its needed effects, this vaccine may cause some unwanted or undesirable effects. Generally, it is well tolerated and most people experience only minor unwanted effects. The frequency and severity of these effects depends mainly on the individual's susceptibility. Possible unwanted effects include:
- injection site reactions (e.g. redness, mild pain)
- decreased appetite
- restless sleep
- allergic reaction (e.g. rash, wheezing, difficulty breathing)
People with impaired immune responsiveness, whether due to the use of immunosuppressive therapy (e.g. corticosteroids), a genetic defect, HIV infection, or other causes, may have a reduced response to this vaccine. This vaccine may not protect 100% of individuals receiving the vaccine.
Use is not recommended in the following situations:
- prior severe allergic reaction to pneumococcal vaccine
- allergy to any component of the vaccine
As with other vaccines administered intramuscularly, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine should be given with caution to individuals with thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder since bleeding may occur following an IM injection in these subjects.
Administration of pneumococcal vaccine should be postponed if suffering from severe acute illness. Immunization should not be delayed because of minor acute illness, with or without fever.
Use in pregnancy: there is no evidence to suggest that the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine poses a risk to the fetus or to the pregnancy.
Use in breastfeeding: Breastfeeding women can be vaccinated with the pneumococcal vaccine.