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)

Given to babies and young children 6 weeks to 5 years of age (before the 6th birthday) or to adults 50 years of age and older to prevent infections, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or ear infections.

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 trained health professional will give you this medicine.It is usually given as a shot into a muscle in the thigh or upper arm.
  • Babies and children 6 weeks to 5 years of age: This vaccine is usually given as 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.
  • Adults 50 years of age and older: 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 using a medicine that causes a weak immune system. This includes radiation treatment, steroid medicines (such as cortisone, dexamethasone, prednisone, or Medrol®), 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 or a weak immune system.
  • Patients who have problems with their immune system (such as those who use a steroid medicine, receive chemotherapy for cancer, or who have HIV infection or AIDS) may not be fully protected by this vaccine. Because there may be some benefit, your doctor may still want to give the vaccine.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if your infant was born prematurely.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you notice any unwanted effects after receiving the vaccine.

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
  • Bluish lips or skin, or 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
  • Poor appetite
  • Decreased sleep
  • Headache
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Mild skin rash
  • Pain, itching, burning, redness, swelling, or a lump under the skin where the shot was given

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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