Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Pneumococcal pneumonia can be serious and symptoms can last for weeks.

Pneumococcal pneumonia is not a cold or the flu. It’s an illness that is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria. Its symptoms appear quickly and can be severe. For some people, certain symptoms like cough and fatigue can last for weeks or longer — even after treatment with antibiotics.

Many people dismiss pneumonia as an illness that only the elderly or sick people get in the hospital. That's not always true. Pneumococcal pneumonia can occur in otherwise healthy people outside of hospital or health care settings. And even people as young as 50 may be at increased risk


Symptoms are distinct, can appear quickly, and may include:

  • Chest pain with difficulty breathing
  • A high fever, shaking, chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • A cough with phlegm that persists or gets worse

Understand pneumococcal pneumonia in 90 seconds.

Hear from someone who had the disease.

“It wasn’t until I had been in the hospital a number of days that I realized how serious pneumococcalpneumonia could be.”

Who’s at Risk

Fifty or older? You may be at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia.

Like other common infectious diseases, the bacteria that causes pneumococcal pneumonia can be spread when airborne droplets  are launched in the air by coughing or sneezing,  or exchanged through close contact.  This means everyone’s at risk for getting it,  although some people are at greater risk than others.  
According to the CDC,5% to 70% of healthy adults are carrying 
S pneumoniae bacteria at any given time.
Individual lifestyle and health-related factors may increase your risk for developing pneumococcal pneumonia. The condition of your immune system at any given time can also influence your personal risk, and having certain chronic conditions can increase your likelihood of developing pneumococcal pneumonia, and may impact the severity of the disease.
But one of the most important things to know is that risk increases with age. If you’re 50 or older, ask your doctor about the PREVNAR 13® vaccine.

Karen talks about the effects of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Pneumococcal pneumonia put Karen in the hospital. Hear how it affected her life and her husband Frank.

How are age and risk related?

  • Your immune system is a complex network of cells that work together to protect you from infection.

  • As you get older, your immune system isn't able to respond as quickly to infection as it did when you were younger.

  • As you age, your body produces fewer of the cells and antibodies necessary to rapidly defend yourself against an invasive threat such as pneumococcal disease.

  • Even otherwise healthy people as young as 50 are at increased risk.

About Prevnar 13<sup>®</sup>

What if one piece of broccoli could help prevent cancer? Wishful thinking, right? But one dose of PREVNAR 13®can help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia.

As you age, you take extra steps, like eating right and exercising, to help prevent disease. If you’re 50 or older, take one more step. Help protect yourself against pneumococcal pneumonia with PREVNAR 13®.
The PREVNAR 13® (Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine [Diphtheria CRM197 Protein]) vaccine is approved for adults 50 and older to help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive disease caused by 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae (1, 3, 4, 5, 6A, 6B, 7F, 9V, 14, 18C, 19A, 19F, and 23F).
PREVNAR 13® is not 100% effective and will only help protect against the 13 strains included in the vaccine.

PREVNAR 13®. Available in a single dose to help protect you from pneumococcal pneumonia.

PREVNAR 13® (Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine [Diphtheria CRM197 Protein]) is a single shot approved to help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia in people 50 and older. Please see Indications and Important Safety Information below.

Check your health insurance coverage for PREVNAR 13® today.

  • If you’re 65 or older, PREVNAR 13® may be covered by Medicare Part B with $0 out-of-pocket cost.
  • If you’re between the ages of 50 and 64, check with your insurance provider.
  • Need help paying for your Pfizer medicines? Pfizer Rx Pathways™ is here to help. Learn more at PfizerRxPath.com

Search for pharmacies carrying the PREVNAR 13® vaccine.

If you're a pharmacy and would like to add, edit, or delete your information, please call 866-925-2826.

Side Effects

What you should know about the side effects of PREVNAR 13®.

Pfizer is committed to consistently monitoring the safety of PREVNAR 13® (Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine [Diphtheria CRM197 Protein]). In clinical studies, PREVNAR 13® was given to more than 5,000 adults 50 and older. PREVNAR 13® does not contain a live virus or bacteria. It contains the same protein that has been a building block of vaccines for more than 20 years.
Some patients have experienced side effects. But they are generally mild.
Because PREVNAR 13® is given by injection, the common side effects reported in clinical trials were injection site reactions: redness, swelling, pain at the injection site, and limitation of arm movement. There were also systemic side effects: fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, decreased appetite, chills, and rash.
PREVNAR 13® should not be given to anyone with a severe allergic reaction to any component of PREVNAR 13® or any diphtheria toxoid–containing vaccine. Adults with weakened immune systems (eg, HIV infection, leukemia) may have a reduced immune response. In adults, immune responses to PREVNAR 13® were reduced when given with injected seasonal flu vaccine. In adults, the common side effects were pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site, limitation of arm movement, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, decreased appetite, chills, or rash.
If you experience any side effects related to the vaccination, you should report them to your health care provider. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visit www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967.