What are pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (15-valent and 20-valent)?
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (15-valent) (also known as PCV15 or Vaxneuvance) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (20-valent) (also known as PCV20 or Prevnar 20) are two vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of disease caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. PCV15 is approved for use in children and adults, and PCV20 is approved for use in only adults.
Streptococcus pneumoniae infection can cause different types of illness, including community-acquired pneumonia. Community-acquired pneumonia can be an opportunistic infection (OI) of HIV. An OI is an infection that occurs more frequently or is more severe in people with weakened immune systems—such as people with HIV—than in people with healthy immune systems. To learn more about OIs, read the HIVinfo What is an Opportunistic Infection? fact sheet.
The Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV include recommendations on the use of PCV15 and PCV20 in people with HIV.
What should I tell my health care provider before receiving pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (15-valent or 20-valent)?
Before receiving PCV15 or PCV20, tell your health care provider:
- If you or your child is allergic to any ingredients in PCV15 or PCV20, diphtheria toxoid, or any other medicines. Tell your health care provider if you or your child has ever had any reactions to a previous dose of PCV15 or PCV20 or any other pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
- About any medical conditions you or your child has or has had, including a weakened immune system.
- If you or your child takes medicines that might weaken the immune system, such as steroids or immunosuppressants.
- If your child was born prematurely. (This applies to infants who will receive PCV15).
- About any health conditions that may prevent you or your child from receiving medicine by injection.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Talk to your health care provider about the risks and benefits of receiving PCV15 or PCV20 during pregnancy.
- If you are breast/chestfeeding or plan to breast/chestfeed. For people with HIV in the United States, the Guideline recommends speaking with your health care provider to discuss options for feeding your baby. People with suppressed viral load have a less than 1% chance of transmitting HIV to their baby via their own milk.
- About other prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you or your child are taking or plan to take. PCV15 or PCV20 may affect the way other medicines or products work, and other medicines or products may affect how PCV15 or PCV20 works. Ask your health care provider if there are interactions between PCV15 or PCV20 and the other medicines you or your child take.
Ask your health care provider about possible side effects from PCV15 or PCV20. Your health care provider will tell you what to do if you or your child have side effects.
How are pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (15-valent and 20-valent) given?
PCV15 is given by a health care provider as an injection into the muscle. Adults with HIV who have never received a pneumococcal vaccine usually need one dose of PCV15, followed by one dose of pneumococcal vaccine, polyvalent (also called PPSV23 or Pneumovax 23) given at least 8 weeks later.
PCV20 is given by a health care provider as an injection into the muscle. Adults with HIV who have never received a pneumococcal vaccine need a single dose of PCV20.
Read any printed information that your health care provider gives you about PCV15 or PCV20.
Where can I find more information about pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (15-valent and 20-valent)?
- Recommendations on the HIV-related uses of PCV15 or PCV20, from the Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in Adults and Adolescents with HIV.
- This Patient Version drug summary is based on the following FDA label(s): Injection (pneumococcal 15-valent conjugate vaccine) and Injection (pneumococcal 20-valent conjugate vaccine). The Patient Package Insert and Patient Counseling Information sections of the labels include information for people receiving PCV15 or PCV20.
- The American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Patient Medication Information for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available from MedlinePlus.
- PCV15- and PCV20-related research studies, from ClinicalTrials.gov. (The ClinicalTrials.gov search can be modified so that you can get results that better match your interests. To learn more about the ClinicalTrials.gov search features, please see How to Search.)
Last Reviewed: February 10, 2023