Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)

Moving down the CDC recommended vaccination list, next is PCV13. This is given at 2mo, 4mo, 6mo, & 12-15mo.

Pneumococcal disease refers to any illness caused by pneumococcal bacteria. These bacteria can cause many types of illnesses, including pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs.  Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most common causes of pneumonia.” (

How common is this disease? Here are a few charts showing the incidence. First chart is the incidence in adults ages 19-64 in the US cases per 100,000. As you can see in 2016 there are 2 cases of PCV13 in this age group per 100,000 in the US per year. So your risk would be about 1 in 50,000 of getting PCV13.

The next one is the incidence in children <5 in the US per 100,000 per year. It also is down at 2 cases per 100,000 per year. So it is also about 1 in 50,000 chance for PCV13.

Now let’s take a look at what the CDC says about side effects of the vaccine. (TIV) from the chart below, refers to Trivalent influenza vaccine. See how the adverse reactions of febrile seizures are 4-44.9 per 100,000 when both these vaccines are given together!

This is really important to note. The risk of getting the PVC13 disease is 1 in 50,000 however if you receive the TIV vaccine and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine the risk of febrile seizures are 1 in 25,000 to 1 in 2,004.

For the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, “Local reactions (such as pain, swelling or redness) following PCV13 occur in up to half of recipients. Approximately 8% of local reactions are considered to be severe. (

“After evaluating the data on febrile seizures and taking into consideration benefits and risks of vaccination, ACIP made no change in its recommendations for use of TIV or PCV13.” ( Does that surprise you?

You have a pretty high chance of a severe reaction it seems!!!

Now I am going to look at the insert for Prevnar 13. I encourage you to read it as well. “Serious adverse events reported following vaccination in infants and toddlers occurred in 8.2% among Prevnar 13 recipients and 7.2% among Prevnar recipients….There were 3 (0.063%) deaths among Prevnar 13 recipients, and 1 (0.036%) death in Prevnar recipients, all as a result of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).”

It is always important to do a risk benefit analysis of each disease and each vaccine. Now you can decide for yourself if you think your child needs this vaccine 4 times by 15months!

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