Fast Five Quiz: Pediatric Pneumococcal Infections

Jocelyn Y. Ang, MD


September 08, 2021

Two types of pneumococcal vaccines are available in the United States: PCV13 and PPSV23. PCV13 is routinely recommended for infants before 2 years of age.

In 2000, the first pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) was licensed in the United States, resulting in dramatic reductions in disease caused by vaccine serotypes. PCV7 consisted of purified capsular polysaccharide from seven serotypes (4, 9V, 14, 19F, 23F, 18C, and 6B) conjugated with a nontoxic variant of diphtheria toxin known as CRM197 (cross-reactive material). In 2010, the second pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) was licensed, replacing PCV7. PCV13 contains the seven serotypes found in PCV7 and six additional serotypes (1, 3, 5, 6A, 7F, and 19A) conjugated with CRM197. Again, dramatic reductions in pneumococcal disease were observed among children younger than 5 years soon after the vaccine was introduced. After 2012, rates of invasive disease appear to have plateaued at around two cases per 100,000.

In contrast with the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PPSV23 is not immunogenic for children younger than 2 years. PPSV23 is currently recommended for children 2 years and older with certain medical conditions that can lead to an increased risk for pneumococcal disease and all adults 65 years and older.

Learn more about pneumococcal vaccines.


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