The pneumococcal vaccine protects against pneumococcal infections including meningitis, septicaemia and pneumonia.
- The most serious pneumococcal infections happen during the first 2 years of life which is why older children do not need to be vaccinated.
- Children are vaccinated at two, four and 13 months old.
- The recommended period of time between the first two pneumococcal vaccinations is two months to allow your baby’s body to build up an immunity to the disease. A third dose is given at 13 months old to further boost your baby’s immune system.
- The vaccine is given by injection into a muscle, usually in baby’s thigh or the top of his arm.
All vaccines can have some side effects, which usually show up within 12 to 24 hours of the vaccine being given.
Side effects with the pneumo vaccine are usually mild and last for a short time. Common side effects are local redness, swelling and tenderness around the site of the injection. Very rarely, your child may have fever or flu-like symptoms.
Approximately one in half a million children suffer an extreme reaction to a vaccination known as anaphylaxis. This happens within a few minutes of receiving a vaccination and may cause difficulties breathing. It is quickly and easily treated by trained staff.