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Pneumococcal Vaccines

Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine FAQs

​​Can I get the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at influenza immunization clinics?

You can get the pneumococcal vaccine at influenza immunization clinics if you are eligible to receive it. You can also get the vaccine any time of year at Community/Public Health Centres. You may be able to get the vaccine at your doctor’s office.

Do I need to get the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine every year?

No. Most people only need 1 dose of pneumococcal vaccine in their life. Your public health nurse will tell you if you need a second dose. A second dose is needed if you have:

  • had your spleen removed or a spleen that doesn't work well
  • chronic renal failure
  • nephrotic syndrome
  • hepatic cirrhosis
  • HIV
  • had a Hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT)
  • a weak immune system because of disease or therapy
  • sickle cell disease
  • had a solid organ transplant (i.e. lung, liver, kidney)

Exception:

People will be eligible for a dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at 65 years of age and older (as long as 5 years have passed since a previous dose of this vaccine), regardless of the number of doses received prior to 65 years of age.

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I get immunized?

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider before you get the pneumococcal vaccine.

If you are breastfeeding, it’s safe to get the pneumococcal vaccine.

If I have a latex allergy can I get the vaccine?

If you have an allergy or are sensitive to latex, it’s safe to get the vaccine. There is no latex in the vaccine or the vaccine packaging.

Can I get the vaccine if I take any medicines?

It’s safe to get the pneumococcal vaccine if you take any type of medicine. If you have questions, talk to your healthcare provider.

Can I get the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at the same time as other vaccines?

Yes. It’s safe to get the pneumococcal vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.

Can I donate blood if I get the vaccine?

If you have donated blood, you don’t have to wait to get immunized.

If you get the pneumococcal vaccine, go to the Canadian Blood Services website at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-236-6283 before you donate blood.

How long does it take the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine to start working?

It takes about 10 to 15 days after getting the vaccine to be protected against pneumococcal disease.

How well does the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine work?

How well the vaccine works depends on your age and general health. The vaccine is about 55 to 80 percent effective in preventing invasive pneumococcal disease.

Current as of: August 15, 2016

Author: Influenza Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services