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Click here for Prevenar 13® (pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (13-valent, adsorbed)) Prescribing Information. Adverse event reporting information can be found at the bottom of the page.

Pneumococcal DiseasePneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease refers to a group of infections caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus.

There are over 90 different strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria (known as serotypes), some of which cause more serious infection than others. It's thought that between 8 and 10 strains are responsible for two-thirds of serious infections in adults, and most cases in children.2

Classification of disease & symptomsClassification of disease & symptoms

Pneumococcal infections usually fall into one of two categories:1,2

Non-invasive pneumococcal infections: 
Occur when there is no evidence that the bacteria has spread to normally sterile body fluids and examples include otitis media (ear infection), sinusitis and pneumonia.1

Invasive pneumococcal infections: 
Occur when bacteria are detected in normally sterile body fluids such as the blood or
cerebrospinal fluid.1,2

Invasive pneumococcal infections include1,2:

  • Bacteraemic pneumonia1
    • This is the most common invasive pneumococcal infection in adults.3 It occurs when bacteria invade both the lungs and the bloodstream2
  • Bacteraemia/septicaemia3
    • This occurs when pneumococcal bacteria invade the bloodstream2
  • Meningitis1​​​​​​​
    • This occurs when pneumococcal bacteria invade the tissues and fluids surrounding the brain and spine2

Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common clinical presentation of pneumococcal disease among adults.4 Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs.2

Symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia:
One of the most common symptoms of pneumonia is a cough. This can be dry or mucus producing (yellow, green, brownish or blood-stained).5

Other common symptoms are:5

  • difficulty breathing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • fever
  • feeling generally unwell
  • sweating and shivering
  • loss of appetite
  • chest pain 

While anyone can get pneumococcal disease, individuals in certain age groups or those living with certain medical conditions are at increased risk.1 

People with a weakened immune system are most at risk of catching a pneumococcal infection. This may be because:2

  • They have a serious health condition that weakens their immune system, such as HIV or diabetes
  • They are having treatment or taking medication that weakens their immune system, such as chemotherapy

Other groups at-risk of pneumococcal disease include:2

  • Babies and young children under two years of age
  • Adults over 65 years of age
  • People who smoke or misuse alcohol
PfizerPro Learn more about Prevenar 13

Information about the indications & use of Prevenar 13 in the United Kingdom.

The use of Prevenar 13 should be determined on the basis of official recommendations taking into consideration the risk of invasive disease and pneumonia in different age groups, underlying comorbidities as well as the variability of serotype epidemiology in different geographical areas.6

Explore Prevenar 13Loading

Burden of DiseaseBurden of Disease

Pneumococcal infections and invasive pneumococcal diseases are major causes of disease morbidity and mortality in Europe and globally, with the highest burden of disease found in young children and the elderly.7 In 2005/6, 6,346 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease were confirmed in England and Wales.1 

Cases of invasive pneumococcal infection usually peak in the winter, during December and January.2 A large proportion of invasive pneumococcal disease is vaccine preventable.7

The pneumococcus is also the most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia, as well as non-invasive, upper respiratory tract infections such as otitis media and sinusitis.7


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  1. Public Health England. The Green Book [published 2013; updated 2020]. Chapter 25: Pneumococcal. Available at Last accessed: May 2022
  2. NHSinform. Pneumococcal Infections. Available at: Last accessed: May 2022
  3. British Lung Foundation. Pneumonia. Available at: Last accessed: May 2022
  4. CDC. Pneumococcal Disease. Last accessed: May 2022
  5. NHS. Overview: Pneumonia. Available at Last accessed May 2022.
  6. Prevenar 13 Summary of Product Characteristics for Great Britain available at: Last Accessed: May 2022.
  7. ECDC. Factsheet about pneumococcal disease Available at Last accessed May 2022
PP-UNP-GBR-0739 May 2022

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Adverse events should also be reported to Pfizer Medical Information on 01304 616161

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