Alberta Health Services
The PNEU-C13 vaccine protects against 13 strains (types) of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae that cause pneumococcal disease.
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:
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.
You may not be able to get this vaccine if:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Protection against serious pneumococcal disease (caused by 13 strains of bacteria) with the PNEU-C13 vaccine is about 86% to 97% for healthy children under age 5 years.
In adults age 65 years and older, protection against pneumonia caused by pneumococcal disease is about 38% to 68%.
Vaccine safety is a top priority. Canada uses extremely safe vaccines. Learn more about vaccine safety in Canada, including how vaccines are monitored for continued safety, and ingredients in vaccines.
There can be side effects from the PNEU-C13 vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
At least 1 out of 100 people who got this vaccine reported 1 or more of these side effects. In some cases, it is unknown if the vaccine caused these side effects.
It’s important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It’s rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
There can be mild, short-term side effects after getting a vaccine. Find tips to manage these side effects at home.