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Pneumococcal 13-valent vaccine, diphtheria conjugate (Injection)

Pneumococcal 13-Valent Vaccine, Diphtheria Conjugate (NOO-moe-KOK-al 13-VAY-lent VAX-een, dif-THEER-ee-a KON-joo-gate)

Prevents infections, such as pneumonia, in children under 18 years old or adults over 50.

Brand Name(s):

Prevnar 13

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to pneumococcal or diphtheria vaccines.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.It is usually given as a shot into a muscle in the thigh or upper arm.
  • The vaccine schedule is different for different people.
  • Children under 6: This vaccine is usually given as 3 or 4 separate shots over several months. Your child's doctor will tell you how many shots are needed and when to come back for the next one.
  • Children over 6: This vaccine is given as a single shot. If your child just recently received another pneumonia vaccine, this one should be given at least 8 weeks later.
  • Adults over 50: This vaccine is given as a single dose.

If a dose is missed:

  • It is very important for your child to receive all of the shots for the vaccine.
  • This vaccine must be given on a fixed schedule. If your child misses a dose, call your child's doctor for another appointment.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure the doctor knows if you are receiving a treatment or medicine that causes a weak immune system. This includes radiation treatment, steroid medicines (such as hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, prednisone), or cancer medicines.
  • In adults, this vaccine may be less effective if it is given at the same time as inactivated influenza vaccine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure the doctor knows if you have an illness with a fever.
  • Adults and adolescents: Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Patients who have problems with their immune system may not be fully protected by this vaccine. Your doctor may still want to give the vaccine because there may be some benefit. Weak immune systems can be caused by steroid medicines, chemotherapy, cancer, or HIV or AIDS.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if your child was born prematurely.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blue lips or skin, very slow breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Crying, irritability, or fussiness
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Mild skin rash
  • Pain, itching, burning, redness, swelling, or a lump under the skin where the shot was given
  • Poor appetite
  • Sleep changes

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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