Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. This bacteria attacks different parts of the body.

How is pneumococcal disease spread?

Pneumococcal infection is spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing and face to face contact. It can also be spread by sharing spit (saliva). It is best not to share things such as food, cups, straws and water bottles with an infected person. 

What are the symptoms of pneumococcal?

Symptoms can include:

  • Cough with mucus (can be rusty or green tinged with blood)
  • Fever
  • Fast breathing and heart rate
  • Chest pain that often feels worse when you cough or breathe in
  • Feeling very tired or very weak

What are the risks of pneumococcal disease?

Pneumococcal disease can cause serious life threatening conditions including:

  • Infection of the lungs (pneumonia)
  • Swelling of the brain lining (meningitis) which can lead to deafness, brain damage and death (1 in 4)
  • Blood infection (septicemia)

Complications happen more in children younger than two years of age, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems. Children in child care settings are at greater risk of pneumococcal disease due to sharing toys and putting them in their mouths. 

How can I prevent getting pneumococcal?

The best way to not get pneumococcal disease to get immunized. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines are safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the disease. When you get immunized you help protect others as well.

Learn about the two types of pneumococcal vaccines that protect against the disease.

Get immunized against pneumococcal disease by making an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist (for those 5 years and older) or Public Health.

Booking an immunization appointment with Public Health

Residents of Fraser East (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope), call 604-702-4906

Residents in any other area of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087 

Hours of operation: Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Note: When making an appointment with Public Health, you will be offered a text message reminder through the ImmunizeBC text message reminder system. 


For more information about the pneumococcal disease and the pneumococcal vaccine, go to:


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