Pneumococcal Disease

CWRU UH & CS DOES NOT CARRY THIS VACCINE - this is provided for information only!

Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium, streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause illness and death. This bacterium is also called pneumococcus and can cause serious infections of the lungs (pneumonia), the bloodstream (bacteremia), and the covering of the brain (meningitis).

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease but the infection can be much worse in people with abnormal immune systems.


The symptoms of pneumococcal otitis media (middle ear infection) may include a painful ear, a red or swollen eardrum and sometimes sleeplessness, fever and irritability. Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain.

The symptoms of pneumococcal menigitis include stiff neck, fever, mental confusion and disorientation and visual senitivity to light. The symptoms of pneumococcal bacteremia (a bloodstream infection) may be similar to the symptoms of pneumonia and meningitis along with joint pain and chills.

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine contains material from the 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria that cause 88 % of pneumococcal bacteremias. Most healthy adults develop protection against most or all of these types of pneumococcal bacteria 2-3 weeks after they are vaccinated. This requires a visit to your health care provider to determine the need for the vaccine.

The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine is strongly recommended for:
  • Anyone 65 years of age or older
  • the very young
  • people of any age who have special types of health problems