Pneumococcal Disease

I was vaccinated for pneumococcal disease, but I still got pneumonia. Does that mean
the vaccine didn’t work?

No, it doesn’t. Pneumonia can be caused by many other types of organisms besides the pneumococcal organism, and the vaccine doesn’t work against those other types of bacteria. Secondly, the vaccine that has been used in adults for many years protects against 23 types of pneumococcal organisms that are responsible for most infections, but there are other types not covered by the vaccine. More recently, a different type of pneumococcal vaccine (a conjugate vaccine) has been recommended for adults who are age 65 years and older or who are age 19 to 64 years but have risk factors like heart, liver, or lung disease, diabetes, or immune compromising conditions. Together, the two vaccines recommended for adults in the US will greatly reduce the risk of pneumococcal pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections.