Pneumococcal disease is a serious disease that causes much sickness and death. In fact, pneumococcal disease kills more people in the United States each year than all other vaccine-preventable diseases combined.
Pneumococcal disease is caused by a bacterium known as pneumococcus. Infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. The disease is spread from person to person by droplets in the air. The pneumococci bacteria are common inhabitants of the human respiratory tract. Many people carry the bacteria in their nose and throat without ever developing invasive disease.
Children younger than 2 years old are among those most at risk for disease. There are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children and adults. Adults 65 years and older are now recommended 2 vaccines.
Center for Disease Control Prevention
Immunization Action Coalition
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