Frequently asked questions for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine
Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine
Q. Is Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine a live virus?No, Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine does not contain a live virus. The vaccine is prepared from purified pneumococcal (bacteria) capsule, which is derived from 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. Though it is not effective against all pneumococcal infections, it protects against a majority of pneumococcal infections.
Q. What does Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine mean?The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine contains long chains of polysaccharide (sugar) molecules. These molecules make up the surface capsule of the bacteria. These polysaccharides are the antigens that trigger the formation of antibodies which help in fighting against the infections.
Q. Is the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine safe?Yes, Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine are very safe. They have undergone years of testing before being licensed by the health authorities and are still under continuous monitoring for safety. Occasionally, there may be slight pain and swelling at the injection site or mild fever, but these subside gradually in a few days. If fever or discomfort persists, consult a doctor.
Q. How long is the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine good for?You or your child will require one dose of PPSV. A second dose is usually not given until after 3 years of the first dose and is usually not required in healthy people. However, a second dose may be considered usually between 3-5 years after the first dose in people at increased risk of serious pneumococcal infections (such as those without a spleen or if the spleen is not working properly). A second dose within 3 years of the first dose is not recommended due to higher risks of side effects.
Q. Can Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine be given prior to or after certain medical procedures?It is recommended that Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine should preferably be given two weeks prior to planned spleen removal or initiation of chemotherapy or other immunosuppressive treatment. Vaccination during chemotherapy or radiation therapy should be avoided. The response to the vaccine may remain diminished following completion of chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer. Therefore, it is recommended that the vaccine should be given at least 3 months after such therapy. If the patient has received prolonged therapy or intensive therapy, a longer delay may be appropriate.
Q. Can Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine be received together with seasonal influenza vaccine?Yes, Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine can be given with influenza vaccine or other vaccines but with a different syringe and at a different site. Most people are able to prevent both the infections by responding to both the vaccines at the same time.
Q. Can an individual receive Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine if they are not feeling well on the day of vaccination?If you have a minor illness such as a common cold, then you can receive the vaccine. But, if you have an infection with high fever or some other long-standing illness, then vaccination should be taken only after you recover. Consult your doctor to know whether you can take it or not.