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Pneumococcal vaccines are vaccines against the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. Their use can prevent some cases of pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines: onjugate vaccines and polysaccharide vaccines.

What is invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD)?

IPD is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. IPD most often presents in adults as bacteremic pneumonia, meningitis and other clinical manifestations such as endocarditis, or septic arthritis. In children, IPD usually occurs as bacteraemia without a clinical focus, pneumonia and meningitis (3).

Symptoms of pneumonia in adults may include: a sudden onset with shaking chills, fever, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, chest pain and a productive cough. In infants and young children symptoms may not be specific and may include fever, cough, rapid breathing and grunting. Meningitis due to pneumococcus in persons over 2 years of age presents with high fever, headache and
stiff neck, which can develop over several hours or in 1-2 days. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, discomfort with bright lights, confusion and sleepiness. In newborns and small infants the
above symptoms may be absent but they could present with irritability, feeding poorly, vomiting and

The bacteria that cause IPD can live at the back of the nose and throat without causing symptoms. People of all ages can be healthy carriers of pneumococci bacteria. The bacteria are spread through droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing. Bacteria can also be spread through the saliva of an infected person when common items are shared, e.g., beverages (bottles, straws) or eating utensils.