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Pneumococcal Vaccine

Last updated on 02/08/2021.

Overview   |   Dosage   |    Side Effects   |   Precautions  |   Tips  |   Where To Buy  

GENERIC NAME: Pneumococcal Vaccine


BRAND NAME(S) IN HONG KONG: Pneumovax, Prevenar

DRUG CLASS: Vaccines

SUB CLASS: Vaccines

USED FOR: Immunisation against pneumococcal disease


What is Pneumococcal Vaccine for?

Pneumococcus is a very common bacterium that lives in the human respiratory system. When a person’s immunity declines due to illness or immunosuppressive drugs, Pneumococcus bacteria will attack the human body and cause severe infections, such as pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis.

In Hong Kong, infants receive two doses of Pneumococcal Vaccine at 2 months old and 4 months old, and a booster dose at 12 months old. All three doses are free as part of the Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme. All elderly over 65 years old may also receive free Pneumococcal Vaccine, which is subsidized by the Government Vaccination Programme.

How to use it?

Two types of Pneumococcal Vaccines are available in the market, including 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV). PCV13 is effective against both invasive pneumococcal disease and non-invasive pneumococcal pneumonia, while 23vPPV is effective in preventing invasive pneumococcal disease.

For children
The Hong Kong Childhood Immunisation Programme (HKCIP) provides pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) to children under 2 years of age. The standard regimen includes two doses at 2 and 4 months, plus a booster dose at 12 months.

For elderly over 65
Elderly over 65 without high-risk conditions should be given either a single dose of PCV13 or a single dose of 23vPPV. The vaccines are free of charge or subsidized under the Government Vaccination Programme and Vaccination Subsidy Scheme.

For high-risk individuals above 2 years of age
If this is the first time receiving Pneumococcal Vaccines, two doses should be received. The first dose is a single dose of PCV13, followed one year later by a single dose of 23vPPV.
For those who have already received 23vPPV, a single dose of PCV13 should be given one year after the previous 23vPPV vaccination. For those who have already received PCV13, a single dose of 23vPPV should be given one year after the previous PCV13 vaccination.

What are the side effects of Pneumococcal Vaccine?

Common side effects of Pneumococcal Vaccine include injection site reaction, fatigue, headache, myalgia, mild fever and chills.

Who should not take Pneumococcal Vaccine?

– People allergic to Pneumococcal Vaccine or any component of the formulation
– People allergic to former dose of Varicella vaccine

Pharmacist Tips:

– If you are taking Penicillin for the prevention against Pneumococcal infection, continue taking Penicillin after vaccination.
– Consult your medical professional if there are any questions regarding your own vaccination scheme.

Common dosing schedule:
The time between each vaccination is usually at least one year.

This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.

Some common medications Pneumococcal Vaccine may interact with:
Pneumococcal Vaccine has no known interactions with common medications.

Where to buy Pneumococcal Vaccine in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Pneumococcal Vaccine is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.

For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Pneumococcal Vaccine in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.