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Pneumococcal conjugate (PNEU-C13) vaccine

Learn about the PNEU-C13 vaccine, effectiveness, side effects, and safety.

Disease it protects from

The PNEU-C13 vaccine protects against 13 strains (types) of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae that cause pneumococcal disease.

Who should get this vaccine

As part of the routine immunization schedule, children get this vaccine starting at age 2 months. You may also get this vaccine if you’re at high risk for serious pneumococcal disease because of certain health problems. This includes:

  • not having a spleen or having a spleen that doesn’t work well
  • chronic cerebral spinal fluid leak
  • cochlear implants
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT)
  • a weak immune system because of disease or medicine you take
  • sickle cell disease
  • a solid organ transplant (such as lung, liver, or kidney)

If you want this vaccine but are not eligible to get it for free, you may be able to pay to get it from a private immunization clinic, doctor’s office, or pharmacy. Ask your healthcare provider if this vaccine is right for you. Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers the cost.

Who should not get this vaccine

You may not be able to get this vaccine if:

  • You have an allergy to any part of the vaccine.
  • You had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it.

If you have allergies or have had a side effect from this vaccine, check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.

Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others.


Most healthy children need 3 doses, which are given at ages 2, 4, and 12 months. Children who have a high risk of serious pneumococcal disease get an extra dose at age 6 months.

You or your child may get fewer doses depending on your age when you start this vaccine. It’s not recommended to delay this immunization because babies have a higher risk of this disease. Ask your healthcare provider how many doses you or your child needs.

If you’ve had a stem cell transplant, ask your healthcare provider how many doses of the vaccine you need.

Other vaccines that protect against the same diseases

There are other pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Some of these vaccines protect against fewer types (strains) of pneumococcal disease than PNEU-C13. Check with a public health nurse if your child is age 4 years or younger and they haven’t had the PNEU-C13 vaccine.

Another vaccine that protects against pneumococcal disease is called the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PNEUMO-P). Anyone age 2 years and older with certain health problems should have the PNEUMO-P vaccine, even if you already had the PNEU-C13 vaccine. This includes people:

  • with heart, lung, kidney, or liver problems
  • with diabetes
  • with a weak immune system
  • who are age 65 years or older

If you need both the PNEU-C13 and PNEUMO-P vaccines, it’s best to get the PNEU-C13 vaccine first. The 2 vaccines must be carefully spaced, as recommended by your healthcare provider, so you don’t get them too close together.

Pneumococcal 20-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV 20) is available to buy from pharmacies or doctors for people 18 years of age and older. If you have had this vaccine, you may not need the PNEU-C13 vaccine.

Ask your healthcare provider what pneumococcal vaccines you should have.

Get the vaccine

If you can get the vaccine for free, you can get it at your local public health or community health centre.

If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a private immunization clinic or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Current as of: June 30, 2023
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.