Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPV23) – Indications, Risks

What is Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPV23)?

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) is the vaccine that provides protection against 23 serotypes of pneumococcal bacteria. After receiving the vaccine shot, healthy individuals develop protection against most of Pneumococcal strains within 2 to 3 weeks.

PPV23 can be administered along with other vaccines as it is an inactivated vaccine and one does not need to wait for receiving PPV23 after other vaccines are administered.

What is the need of PPV23?

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a killer disease that affects thousands of individuals every year across the world. In severe cases, it leads to life threatening conditions such as meningitis or bacteraemia.

It can affect anyone; however some individuals are more susceptible for getting infection such as 65 and older persons, infants and children, people with associated health conditions like heart or lung disease, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, etc.

Thus, prevention of Pneumococcal pneumonia with PPV23 vaccine drastically reduces the mortality rate associated with this dreaded disease.

Indications for vaccination with PPV23

Do you need a vaccination dose with PPV23? If you fall into any of the below mentioned categories, then you may visit your health care provider and discuss about receiving the vaccination dose.

                    Older Adults in age group of 65 years and above; need to get vaccinated if they are previously unvaccinated.

                    Individuals who smoke cigarettes should get vaccinated

                    Individuals (age between 2–64 years) with following conditions should get vaccinated

                    Chronic cardiovascular disease such as congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy

                    Chronic pulmonary disease such as COPD, emphysema, asthma

                    Diabetes mellitus, cochlear implant patients

                    Chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis, alcoholic, or have a cerebrospinal fluid leak

                    Individuals who are residents of Alaska Natives or certain American Indian populations

                    Individuals between 2–64 years and have functional or anatomic Asplenia

                    Individuals (age 2 years and older) with immune-compromised system due to HIV/AIDS infection, Hodgkin’s disease, generalized malignancy, chronic renal failure, leukaemia, etc. 

                    Individuals who are receiving immune-suppressive therapy

                    Individuals who had receive an organ or bone marrow transplant

Do you need a second dose of PPSV?

If you had already received a dose of PPV23, you should check if you need a second dose of the PPV23 vaccine.

A second dose of PPV23 is indicated in the following conditions.

                    All children and adults (above 64 years) who are at greatest risk of life threatening pneumococcal disease 

                    All children and adults (above 64 years) who exhibit rapid decline in pneumococcal antibody levels

                    All adults (age 65 years and above) who were vaccinated with PPV23 before 65 years and there is gap of 5 years or more since the first dose.

Risks from PCV23

There is very minimal chance of any severe or life threatening medical problem due to vaccine.

The patient may experience following mild reactions.


                    Allergic reaction

                    Redness or tenderness in the region where shot was administered

                    Swelling in the region where shot was administered

                    Mild fever