Content Editor

Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PNEUMO-P) vaccine

Learn about the PNEUMO-P vaccine, effectiveness, side effects, and safety.

Disease it protects from

The PNEUMO-P vaccine protects against 23 strains (types) of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae that cause pneumococcal disease. These 23 strains cause more than 25% of pneumococcal disease in any age and over 65% of pneumococcal disease in adults age 65 years or older.

Who should get this vaccine

You should get the PNEUMO-P vaccine if:

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 to 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.


Healthy people age 65 years or older need 1 dose.

You may need 1 or 2 doses of this vaccine at an earlier age if you have certain health problems such as:

  • your spleen was removed or does not work well
  • heart, lung, liver, or kidney problems
  • chronic cerebral spinal fluid leak
  • cochlear implants
  • diabetes
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • a weak immune system because of disease or medicine you take
  • sickle cell disease
  • you have had or will have a stem cell or solid organ transplant

Check with your healthcare provider to find out if you need doses at an earlier age and how many doses you need.

You still need a dose when you turn age 65 years, even if you have already had the vaccine. Before you get this dose, you need to wait 5 years from when you had your previous dose of this vaccine.

Other vaccines that protect against the same diseases

There are other vaccines that protect against pneumococcal disease:

Pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PNEU-C13)

  • PNEU-C13 protects against 13 types of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae that cause pneumococcal disease. As part of the routine schedule, children get this vaccine starting at age 2 months.
  • You may be recommended to get both the PNEU-C13 and PNEUMO-P vaccine if you had your spleen removed or have a weak immune system or other health problems.
  • If you need both the PNEUMO-P and PNEU-C13 vaccines, it is best to get the PNEU-C13 vaccine first. The 2 vaccines must be carefully spaced, as recommended by your healthcare provider, so you do not get them too close together.

Pneumococcal 20-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV 20)

  • This vaccine 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 PNEUMO-P vaccine.

Ask your healthcare provider what pneumococcal vaccines you should have.

Get the vaccine

You can get the vaccine at your local public health or community health centre. You may also be able to get it from your doctor or pharmacist.

PNEUMO-P and other vaccines

You can get a PNEUMO-P vaccine at the same time, any time before, or any time after most vaccines. However, certain vaccines have a waiting period. Check with your healthcare provider about when you can get the PNEUMO-P vaccine if you:

  • need both the PNEUMO-P and PNEU-C13 vaccines
  • had any vaccines in the last 2 weeks
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.