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Prevention & Vaccination


Prevention is the best defense against any disease including pneumonia. 

Tips to prevent pneumonia: 

  • Wash your hands properly and often  
  • When to wash your hands:  
    • Before you eat or prepare food  
    • After you use the bathroom or change diapers  
    • After you blow you nose, sneeze or cough into your sleeve  
    • Before and after taking care of someone who is sick  
  • Protect others by staying home if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms 
  • Wear a mask  
  • Get your pneumonia vaccine(s). 


Vaccines help prevent pneumococcal disease, which is any type of illness caused by streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.

There are currently three pneumococcal vaccines available in Canada:

  • Prevnar 13 (Pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine)

    • This vaccine is a publicly funded routine childhood immunization administered at 2 months, 4months, 6 months and 1 year of age. For those who did not receive this vaccine in childhood, a single dose is available in adulthood for those with lung conditions.

  • Pneumovax 23 (Pneumococcal 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine)

    • This vaccine is recommended for adults aged 65 years and older and those aged 19-64 with underlying medical conditions such as lung disease.
    • For those at high-risk such as many lung diseases, this is recommended at least once, however it may be given again after five to ten years.
  • PREVNAR 20 (Pneumococcal 20-valent conjugate vaccine)

    • This vaccine is recommended for adults 18 years of age and older to prevent pneumococcal diseases caused by 20 types of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Individuals at higher risk of pneumococcal infection, and those previously vaccinated with one or more doses of the Pneumovax 23 vaccine are recommended to receive at least one dose of PREVNAR 20. Adults eligible for Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 should receive one dose of Prevnar 13 followed by one dose of Pneumovax 23 eight weeks later. If the sequential use of Pneumovax 23 is considered appropriate, PREVNAR 20 should be given first.

To learn more about which pneumonia vaccines may be right for you speak to your health care provider or visit:

Health Canada - Pneumococcal Vaccine: Canadian Immunization Guide

Government of Saskatchewan - Immunization Services