Infection Pneumococci are transmitted from person to person through the air. The infection is found worldwide.
Vaccination There are several vaccines against pneumococci infections.
Vaccine for adults The vaccine consists of polysaccharides (sugar) from 23 different types of pneumococci, and gives 60% to 80% protection for at least 5 years.After 5 years re-vaccination (booster) may be necessary, but persons with high levels of antibodies may experience severe side effects, and a blood sample analysed for antibodies against pneumococci is needed before re-vaccination.
Vaccine for children The vaccine is so-called conjugated vaccine where the pneumococci sugars are couples to a protein carrier because sugars are not good at inducing an immune response in children.
Vaccination is recommended to people:
with chronic heart and lung disease
over 65 years
immunocompromised like HIV-positive
with chronic renal diseases
with chronic liver diseases
living in countries with a high frequency of pneumococci resistant to penicillin like Spain and the United States.