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Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and PCV booster Pneumococcal (13 serotypes) - Information for health professionals

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Pneumococcal meningitis is a notifiable disease.

Pneumococcal disease is a respiratory infection often presenting as pneumonia or acute otitis media, which can become invasive causing bacteraemia or rarely meningitis. Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, of which there are many different serotypes, and mainly affects the very young and very old. The organism is spread by respiratory droplets and has a poorly defined incubation period which may be as short as one to three days.

Routine vaccination

The Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Routine Childhood Immunisation Programme commenced in September 2006 for infants aged two and four months old with a booster at around thirteen months old. In April 2010 PCV 13 replaced PCV 7. In January 2020 following a review by the Joint Committee on Immunisation and Vaccination (JCVI) the PCV routine childhood vaccination schedule was revised and implemented:

  • Infants born on or after 01 January 2020 should be offered Prevenar 13 as a single primary dose at 12 weeks with a booster dose at 12 to 13 months (1+1 schedule).
  • Infants born on or before 31 December 2019 should have remained on the previous schedule with two primary doses at 8 and 16 weeks with a booster dose at 12 to 13 months (2 +1 schedule).

The UK PCV immunisation programme has successfully achieved high levels of protection from the 13 pneumococcal serotypes contained in the vaccine.

Non-routine immunisations

PCV vaccine may be required in individuals who have underlying medical conditions.

Please refer to Pneumococcal: the green book, chapter 25 - GOV.UK.

The vaccine

PCV contains polysaccharide from thirteen common capsular types (PCV 13).  It is indicated for active immunisation for the prevention of invasive disease, pneumonia and acute otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumonia.

Prevenar 13 (PCV 13) is an inactivated injectable vaccine in a pre-filled syringe presentation.  

More information about the vaccine, including eligible groups, dosing and method of administration can be found at Pneumococcal: the green book, chapter 25 - GOV.UK.

Summary of product characteristics

Schedule guidance in the Green Book chapter 25 supersedes the summary of product characteristics.

The Complete Routine Immunisation Schedule includes information about routine and non-routine vaccinations.



Vaccination programme recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Welsh Government policy can be found at the links below.

Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - GOV.UK (read JCVI publications and statements; search e.g. pneumococcal)

Welsh Health Circulars and Welsh Government letters

Infant pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) immunisation schedule: changes (WHC/2019/041) | GOV.WALES

Eligibility for non routine immunisations (WHC/2018/048) | GOV.WALES


Training resources and events

Online courses and training materials about a number of vaccines and diseases can be accessed via the E-learning page.

Further immunisation training information and resources are provided on the Training Resources and Events page.


Clinical resources and information

Pneumococcal: the green book, chapter 25 - GOV.UK

Changes to the infant pneumococcal conjugate vaccine schedule. Information for health professionals - GOV.UK

Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols

PGD templates for vaccines can be found on the Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols page.

Further clinical resources and information


Data and surveillance