pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-pediatric only), 7-valent

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pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-pediatric only), 7-valent

Pronunciation: NOO moe KOK al KON joo gate
Brand: Prevnar

What is the most important information I should know about pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)?

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months of age.

In a child older than 6 months who has not yet received a PCV, the first dose can be given any time from the age of 7 months through 9 years.

If the child is less than 1 year old at the time of the first shot, he or she will need 2 booster doses. If the child is 12 to 23 months old at the time of the first shot, he or she will need 1 booster dose. A child who is 2 years or older at the time of the first shot may need only the one shot and no booster doses.

emt The timing of this vaccination is very important for it to be effective. Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.
emt Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. If the child ever has to receive another PCV in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first shot caused any side effects.

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

Becoming infected with pneumococcal disease (such as pneumonia or meningitis) is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

donot Be sure to keep your child on a regular schedule for other immunizations against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), measles, mumps, hepatitis, or varicella (chicken pox). Your doctor or state health department can provide you with a recommended immunization schedule.

What is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)?

Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection caused by a bacteria. Pneumococcal bacteria can infect the sinuses and inner ear. It can also infect the lungs, blood, and brain, and these conditions can be fatal.

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is used to prevent infection caused by pneumococcal bacteria. PCV contains 7 different types of pneumococcal bacteria.

PCV works by exposing your child to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. PCV will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

donot PCV is for use only in children between the ages of 6 weeks and 10 years. For adults and children who are 2 years of age and older, another vaccine called Pneumovax (pneumococcal polysaccharides vaccine [PPV] 23-valent) is used.

Becoming infected with pneumococcal disease (such as pneumonia or meningitis) is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Like any vaccine, PCV may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving this vaccine?

emt Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. If the child ever has to receive another pneumococcal vaccine in the future, you will need to tell the doctor if the first shot caused any side effects.
donot Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she has ever had an allergic reaction to a pneumococcal vaccine, or if the child has received cancer chemotherapy or radiation treatment in the past 3 months.

Before receiving PCV, tell your doctor if your child is allergic to any drugs, or if the child has:

  • a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia or easy bruising;
  • a history of seizures;
  • an allergy to latex rubber;
  • a weak immune system caused by disease, bone marrow transplant, or by using certain medicines or receiving cancer treatments; or
  • if the child is taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).

Your child can still receive a vaccine if he or she has a cold or fever. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until the child gets better before receiving this vaccine.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given as an injection (shot) into a muscle. Your child will receive this injection in a doctor's office or other clinic setting.

The PCV is given in a series of shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 months, and 12 to 15 months of age.

The first PCV injection should be given no earlier than 6 weeks of age. Allow at least 2 months to pass between injections.

If your child is already 6 months or older, he or she can still receive this vaccine on the following schedule:

  • Age 7-11 months: two injections at least 4 weeks apart, followed by a third injection after the child turns 1 year (at least 2 months after the second injection);
  • Age 12-23 months: two injections at least 2 months apart;
  • Age 2-9 years: one injection.
emt The timing of this vaccination is very important for it to be effective. Your child's individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

A child who is 24 to 59 months old may need 1 or 2 additional doses of this vaccine if the child did not receive all recommended doses on a prior schedule, or if the child has a certain medical condition or weakened immune system.

Your doctor may recommend treating fever and pain with an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) when the shot is given and for the next 24 hours. Follow the label directions or your doctor's instructions about how much of this medicine to give your child.

It is especially important to prevent fever from occurring in a child who has a seizure disorder such as epilepsy.

donot Be sure to keep your child on a regular schedule for other immunizations such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis, and varicella (chicken pox). Your doctor or state health department can provide you with a recommended immunization schedule.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Contact your doctor if your child will miss a booster dose or gets behind schedule. The next dose should be given as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine. If your child does not receive the full series of vaccines, he or she may not be fully protected against the disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine?

Avoid this vaccine while your child is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. You may need to wait until it has been several months after your child has completed his or her treatments. Follow your doctor's instructions.

What are the possible side effects of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)?

donot Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
emt Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. When the child receives a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.

Becoming infected with pneumococcal disease (such as pneumonia or meningitis) is much more dangerous to your child's health than receiving the vaccine to protect against it. Like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects, but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

emt Get emergency medical help if your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
emt Call your doctor at once if your child has any of these serious side effects:
  • high fever (103 degrees or higher);
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • easy bruising or bleeding; or
  • severe pain, itching, irritation, or skin changes where the shot was given.

Less serious side effects include

  • mild soreness, redness, swelling, or a hard lump where the shot was given;
  • weakness, tired feeling;
  • crying, fussiness;
  • drowsiness, restless sleep;
  • low fever (102 degrees or less);
  • vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite; or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

What other drugs will affect pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)?

donot Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor about all other vaccines your child has recently received.

Also tell the doctor if your child has recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

  • an oral, nasal, inhaled, or injectable steroid medicine;
  • medications to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders, such as azathioprine (Imuran), efalizumab (Raptiva), etanercept (Enbrel), leflunomide (Arava), and others; or
  • medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection, such as basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf), muromonab-CD3 (Orthoclone), mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept), sirolimus (Rapamune), or tacrolimus (Prograf).

If your child is using any of these medications, he or she may not be able to receive the vaccine, or may need to wait until the other treatments are finished.

There may be other drugs that can affect this vaccine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications your child has received. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your child's doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist may have additional information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. You may also find additional information from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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