Get the Basics: Pneumococcal Vaccine for Older Adults (Age 65+)

Protect yourself against pneumonia. Get a pneumococcal vaccine!

Pneumococcal bacteria cause pneumonia, a lung infection with a high rate of sickness and death in older adults.  Pneumococcal bacteria can also cause ear infections, sinus infections, and meningitis.

Older adults over the age of 65 should get the pneumococcal vaccine.

The pneumococcal vaccines can prevent pneumonia.  If you do get pneumonia and you are vaccinated, you are less likely to get very sick. 

Two kinds of pneumococcal vaccines are available:

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV15 or PCV20)
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23)

These vaccines protect against most types of pneumococcal bacteria. Ask your healthcare provider which vaccine is best for you.

Paying for the vaccine:

  • If you have Medicare Part B, the vaccine is free. 
  • Medicaid and private health insurance plans typically cover vaccine costs.

Vaccines are available at:

  • Most drug stores
  • Your healthcare provider


Last Updated February 2023

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