Have you ever had pneumonia, an ear infection or sinus infection? Chances are you were infected by a strain of bacteria called streptococcus pneumonia, which causes pneumococcal infections. Over the years, it’s become harder to treat pneumococcal infections with antibiotics like penicillin because some strains have developed resistance to everyday drugs. That’s why it’s important to consider getting the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV), which protects against 23 types of pneumococcal disease.

Who should get PPSV?

•All adults 65 years of age and older

•Individuals two to 64 years of age with long-term health problems or diseases and conditions that lower the body’s resistance to infection

•Anyone two to 64 years of age who is taking a drug or treatment, like long-term steroids, certain cancer drugs or radiation, that lowers the body’s resistance to infection

•Adults 19-64 years of age who smoke or have asthma

•All adults who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility

Healthy adults who get PPSV will develop protection to most or all of pneumococcal infections within two to three weeks. For more information about PPSV, please call your doctor, contact your local or state health department or visit cdc.gov.