The Pneumococcal Conjugate 13 (Pneu-C-13) vaccine, Prevnar 13®, helps protect against infections caused by the 13 types of streptococcus pneumonia bacteria that are the most common cause of pneumococcal disease in infants and young children in Canada.
What is pneumonia?
- Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by either a virus or bacteria.
- The infection is spread very easily by coughing and sneezing, which releases it into the air where it can be breathed in by others. It can also be passed when an infected person shakes hands or touches surfaces like doorknobs or shared toys.
- In most people, the pneumococcal bacteria will not cause serious illness.
- However, sometimes the bacteria can cause severe ear, lung (such as pneumonia or invasive pneumococcal disease), blood or brain infections that can cause death in the very young, the elderly and in people with high-risk medical conditions.
Who should get the pneumococcal vaccine?
Publicly Funded (free)
- Children under 5 years of age should receive a 3 dose series, given at 2, 4 and 12 months of age.
- Infants with certain medical conditions are eligible for a 4 dose series, given at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months of age.
- Adults 50 years of age and over, with certain medical conditions, are eligible for a single dose of Pneu-C-13.
- Prevnar 13® may be given to individuals from 5 to 49 years of age if they have certain medical conditions.
- Prevnar 13® may also be given, for a fee, to individuals from 5 to 17 years of age at high risk for invasive pneumococcal disease (e.g. post secondary educational setting) and adults from 18 to 49 yrs of age at high risk for pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease.
Who should not get the Pneu-C-13 vaccine?
- Anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction to a pneumococcal vaccine or diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine in the past, or to any component of the vaccine:
- Prevnar 13® – diphtheria toxoid, aluminum phosphate adjuvant, sodium chloride, succinic acid, polysorbate 80. Does not contain latex.
- Anyone with a high fever or moderate to severe illness should wait until they feel well.
- Anyone who has received the Pneu-P-23 pneumococcal vaccine within the past year.
What are the common side effects of this vaccine?
- Some people may feel sore and swollen for a few days where the needle was given.
- Some may have a slight fever or muscle pain.
- Tylenol® or ibuprofen may be taken afterwards, as directed, to reduce discomfort or fever.
- Children under 19 years of age must not be given ASA, Aspirin® or salicylates.
What else do I need to know?
- After receiving Prevnar 13®, you must wait 8 weeks before having the Pneu-P-23 vaccine.
- The Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014 requires all children entering daycare to provide proof of immunization, according to the Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule for Ontario.
- The Immunization of School Pupils Act requires all students between the ages of 4 to 17 to be immunized according to Ontario’s Immunization Schedule, unless a valid Statement of Medical Exemption or Conscience or Religious Belief is on file with Public Health.
When should I seek medical help after immunization?
- If you or your child experiences any unusual side effects, please seek medical attention and notify us.
- Go to Emergency at a hospital right away or call 911 if you or your child has any of the following symptoms after immunization:
- swelling of the face and neck, red itchy eyes
- problems breathing, wheezing or tightness in the chest
- hives and itchy, reddened skin
Your Record of Protection
After you receive any immunization, make sure your health care provider updates your personal immunization record. Keep it in a safe place. Please inform us of any immunizations not received here.