Pneumococcal 13-Valent Vaccine, Diphtheria Conjugate (Injection)

This vaccine is a preventative measure for pneumococcal bacteria that also improves the natural production of antibodies within the body.


The pneumococcal 13-valent vaccine (PVC13) (diphtheria conjugate) is an active injection agent that can stop infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria. This injection helps the body in the production of its own native antibodies to combat the disease. This injection can shield patients from 13 various kinds of pneumococcal bacteria.

Pneumococcal infection can impact several areas of the body and can cause severe issues such as meningitis, which impacts the brain; pneumonia, which impacts the lungs; and bacteremia, a serious infection that affects the blood.

Ear infections can trigger pneumococcal infections for children.

This vaccination protecting from pneumococcal disease is recommended for babies and small children who are 6 weeks to 5 years old, kids who are between 6 and 17, and adults who are over the age of 18.

Depending on how old the patient is at the initial dose, vaccination includes between 1 to 4 doses of medication. This injection can be performed along with other routine injections.

Your physician must perform or supervise the administration of this vaccine. It is manufactured under the Canadian brand name Prevnar, and the US brand name Prevnar 13. This vaccine is available in suspension dosage form.

Conditions treated

  • Infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria

Type of medicine

  • Valent vaccine

Side Effects

Occasionally, injections can trigger side effects that may be unwanted in addition to the necessary benefits the vaccine can provide. While it is not likely that all of the subsequent side effects will take place, they could require medical care if they take place for you.

With any vaccine, there is a slight chance that the following issues can take place:

  • Certain adults and older children undergo sharp shoulder pains and encounter trouble moving the arm that the shot was injected into. However, this is rare.
  • Fainting sometimes occurs after injection. Lying down or just sitting for close to 15 minutes can aid in the prevention of injury that a fall can instigate. Always let your healthcare professional know if you encounter ear ringing or vision changes.
  • Allergic reactions can occur from several minutes up to several hours following the vaccination. While rare, any prescription can cause such a reaction.

Consult with your nurse or doctor right away if you experience any of the side effects below:

More Common Side Effects (Medical Care Required)

Rare Side Effects (Medical Care Required)

  • Swelling of the throat, tongue, or face
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Skin redness, rash, or itching
  • Seizures
  • Quick heartbeat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Chills
  • Chest tightness
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing becomes noisy

Side Effects Incidence not known (Medical Care Required)

  • White spots, ulcers, or sores on the lips or within the mouth
  • Weight gain
  • Vomiting
  • Voice loss
  • Urination frequency increase
  • Swelling or puffiness around the tongue, lips, face, or eyes
  • Swelling of the lower legs, feet, fingers, or face
  • Sweating
  • Sore throat
  • Side or lower back pain
  • Shivering
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
  • Reduced urine output
  • Pain, swelling, or tenderness within the armpits, groin, or lymph nodes within the neck
  • Nose running
  • Neck vein dilation
  • Nausea
  • Nasal congestion
  • Muscle pains and aches
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Loosening, peeling, or blistering of the skin
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Lack of breathing
  • Itching or hives
  • Irritated, red eyes
  • Hive-like, large swelling on the sex organs, feet, legs, hands, throat, tongue, lips, eyelids, or face
  • Heartbeat irregularity
  • Headache
  • General discomfort or feelings of illness
  • Fatigue (extreme)
  • Fainting
  • Ear congestion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Cloudy or bloody urine
  • Choking
  • Burning, painful, or difficult urination
  • Breathing irregularity
  • Body pains or aches
  • Bluish skin or lips
  • Bladder pain
  • Atypical weakness or tiredness
  • Appetite loss

Also, side effects that typically do not necessitate medical care may take place. These effects may disappear throughout treatment as your body becomes more regulated to the medication. In addition, your medical care professional can inform you of other methods of reducing or preventing certain side effects. Consult with your physician if you experience prolonged side effects, if they become troublesome, or if any questions arise.

More Common Side Effects (Medical Care Not Required)

  • Reduced sleep
  • Lower appetite than usual
  • Irritability
  • Streaks (red) on skin
  • Tenderness, pain, or swelling where the injection was given

Rare Side Effects (Medical Care Not Required)

  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Crying
  • Welts

Additional Side Effects Occurrence Rate Unknown (Medical Care Not Required)

  • Injection site warmth, ulceration, tingling, stinging, soreness, scarring, redness, rash, numbness, lumps, itching, inflammation, infection, hives, feelings of pressure, skin discoloration, coldness, burning, blistering, or bleeding
  • Itching, dry, or burning eyes
  • Excessive tearing or eye discharge
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stomach cramps

Some patients may experience other side effects that are not yet on this list. If other side effects are observed, consult with your medical care professional.

Contact your physician with any concerns or questions regarding side effects. The FDA also accepts reports on medication side effects, and they can be reached by calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

There is also a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program that is a federal action to provide compensation to individuals who have experienced injury due to a vaccination. People who feel as if a vaccine has severely impacted them can file a claim on the VICP website or by calling 1-800-338-2382. However, there is a limit on time for when patients can file their claim after the vaccine.


A medical assistant or other trained medical care professional will administer this vaccine to the patient. This injection is given as a vaccine into a muscle, typically in the upper arm or thigh.

Babies and young kids who are between 6 weeks and 5 years old: This vaccine is typically administered as four separate injections over the course of a few months. Your child's physician can inform you as to how many shots are necessary and which schedule should be adhered to in regards to the vaccine. There should be at least an 8-week time period between shots.

Children between 6 and 17 years old: This vaccine is administered as just one dose for older children and teenagers.

Adults over age 18: This vaccine is given as a single dose for adults.

It is highly important that the patient receives every shot necessary for the vaccine.

The injections must be administered on a set schedule. Attempt to keep every appointment, or be sure to reschedule for a different date if the patient misses a vaccine.


Drug Interactions

In some circumstances, medications should not be combined; in other instances it is acceptable to combine two medications despite the possibility an interaction may take place. If the doctor decides to prescribe both medications, they may choose to adjust the dosing information, or they may choose to take additional precautions. While on this medication, it is highly imperative that your physician is aware if you are already prescribed any of the following medications because potential interactions can take place. The list below includes medications that have been chosen due to possible significance, but is not completely all-inclusive.

It is not typically suggested to have this injection if you are already taking the medication below, however certain cases could require the combination. If a patient must have both prescriptions, the physician may adjust the total dose for one or even both of the drugs.

  • Acetaminophen

Other Interactions

Some medications should not be taken near mealtime or when having specific kinds of food due to the increased likelihood of interactions taking place. The use of tobacco or alcohol in addition to some medications can also trigger the onset of interactions. Consult with your medical care professional how this vaccine impacts tobacco, alcohol, or food consumption.

Other Medical Issues

Patients with other medical issues could experience impacts on the effectiveness of this medication. Ensure your physician is aware of other medical issues, including:

  • Apnea for premature babies (short, periodic cessation of breathing) take caution, conditions can be made worse
  • Immune system issues (for example, stem cell transplant, spleen problems, kidney, HIV, or cancer) take caution, patients who have a weaker immune system may experience limitations in the effectiveness of this medication


Patients must compare the potential risks of this vaccine against the benefits that it may provide before choosing to take this medication. Consider the following aspects prior to having this vaccine.

It is highly important that the patient visit the physician on time for each dose. Always pay careful attention and let your physician know if the patient experiences side effects after this vaccine is administered.

Anaphylaxis, a severe kind of allergic reaction, can occur after receiving this vaccine. Anaphylaxis can be deadly and requires emergency medical care. Inform your physician immediately if the patient experiences itching, rash, breathing difficulty, or swelling of the throat and tongue after this vaccine was administered.

This injection will not guard the patient from every kind of pneumococcal infection. It can also not treat an infection that is active.

Ensure the physician is aware if a treatment plan is in progress or if you are taking any medications that trigger a weaker immune system. This refers to steroid medications (prednisone, prednisolone, methylprednisolone, or hydrocortisone), cancer medications, or radiation treatment.


Be sure to inform your physician if you have had any allergic or unusual reactions to any medications. Also inform your medical care team if you have other kinds of allergies, for instance to animals, preservatives, dyes, or foods. For products that are not prescription, always read the instructions and ingredient summary on the medication container.

Specific Demographic Use


This vaccine is typically well-tolerated and successful for use in children. However, it has not yet been determined if this vaccine is both effective and safe for children under 6 weeks of age.


Current research has not outlined issues that could inhibit the effectiveness or practicality of this vaccine for elderly patients.


Research has not yet determined potential risk, if any, for women or infants during breastfeeding. Patients should compare the possible benefits against the potential dangers prior to taking this medication during breastfeeding.


This medication must only be stored in a medical facility as it can only be administered by a healthcare professional. Your healthcare professional will ensure that this medication is stored correctly.


The pneumococcal 13-valent vaccine (diphtheria conjugate) is a vaccine that can stop infections triggered by pneumococcal bacteria. This vaccine helps the human body to produce its own native antibodies to combat the disease. This vaccine can protect patients from 13 different kinds of pneumococcal bacteria. It is important to fight issues that the pneumococcal infection instigates, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis. A physician must prescribe this medication and patients must have a basic physical exam to have this prescribed.