What is pneumococcal disease?
involves bacteria that cause inflammations. In toddlers and young children, this leads to
middle ear infection, inflammation of the cerebral membrane (meningitis), pneumonia and
blood poisoning (sepsis). In very severe cases, pneumococcal disease can be
fatal for toddlers and young children. Around 1 in 4 children with a severe course
of the disease suffers permanent disabilities, such as
deafness, brain damage or paralysis. Elderly persons mostly develop
severe pneumonia, which is often fatal.
There exist many different types of pneumococcal bacteria. Some appear more frequently in babies and toddlers, while others more often affect adults. The vaccinations are adapted to these variations.
The disease is treated with antibiotics. Severe cases require intensive medical treatment.
Pneumococcal bacteria are transmitted by infected persons as well as healthy carriers of the bacteria via droplet infection, primarily by speaking, coughing and sneezing.
Babies and toddlers as well as persons aged over 50 years and persons suffering from certain medical conditions run a higher risk of contracting pneumococcal disease.
Vaccination advice for children
For children under 2 years of age, vaccination against pneumococcal disease is covered by the free-of-charge child vaccination programme available in Austria. For children at particular risk, vaccination against pneumococcal disease is free of charge up to their 5th birthday.
After this, vaccination against pneumococcal disease must be paid for by you.
First vaccination: in the 3rd month of life
Second vaccination: in the 5th month of life
Third vaccination: in the 12th to 14th month of life (7 to 10 months after the second vaccination)
Vaccination advice for adults aged 60 years and older
First vaccination: after the 60th birthday
Second vaccination: 1 year after the first vaccination
This vaccination is recommended for persons at increased risk of infection already from the age of 50 years; booster after 6 years.
Information and consultancy
You want to know whether you might need to be vaccinated against pneumococcal disease? Are you unsure whether you belong to a risk group?