The pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. It's also known as the pneumonia vaccine. Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis.
Why are pneumococcal vaccines important? Pneumococcal disease is contagious, meaning it spreads from person to person. It can lead to different kinds of health problems — including serious infections in the lungs, lining of the brain and spinal cord, and blood. Pneumococcal disease is especially dangerous for babies, older adults, and people with certain health conditions.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent pneumococcal disease.