Pneumococcal Fast Facts

The major types of pneumococcal disease are pneumonia (lung infection), bacteremia (blood infection), and meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord). Less severe clinical diseases include ear and sinus infections.

Pneumococcal pneumonia

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common clinical presentation of pneumococcal disease in adults.[1]
  • It is estimated that about 900,000 Americans get pneumococcal pneumonia each year and 5 to 7% die from it.[1, 2]
  • As many as 400,000 hospitalizations from pneumococcal pneumonia are estimated to occur annually in the United States.[2]

Invasive pneumococcal disease (bacteremia and meningitis)

  • In the United States, about 90% of invasive pneumococcal disease cases are in adults.[3]
  • There were an estimated 3,300 deaths in the United States from pneumococcal meningitis and bacteremia in 2012.[3]
  • More than 12,000 cases of pneumococcal bacteremia occur each year and of those cases about 15% will die from the infection.[2]
  • About 3,000 cases of pneumococcal meningitis occur each year and of those cases 10% will die from the infection.[2]
Pneumococcal vaccines
  • Two different vaccines are used to prevent pneumococcal disease. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is given to children in the first two years of life and to certain adults with conditions that weaken their immune system. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is given to adults 65 years of age and older, as well as children and younger adults with certain high-risk conditions.
  • Most (>95%) pneumococcal deaths in the United States are in adults.[3] Yet about 70 million adults at highest risk remain unvaccinated, leaving them vulnerable.[4] If you are at risk, vaccination is the safest, most effective way to protect yourself.


  • [1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases. Atkinson W, Wolfe S, Hamborsky J, eds. 12th ed., second printing. Washington DC: Public Health Foundation, 2012.
  • [2] Huang SS, Johnson KM, Ray GT, et al.  Healthcare utilization and cost of pneumococcal disease in the United States.  Vaccine 2011;29(18):3398-412.
  • [3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2013. Active Bacterial Core Surveillance Report, Emerging Infections Program Network, Streptococcus pneumoniae, 2012.
  • [4] National Health Interview Survey, 2007.

Source: CDC

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