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This section is part 4 of the PHE pneumococcal guideline summary.

There are very few individuals who cannot receive pneumococcal vaccines. When there is doubt, appropriate advice should be sought from a consultant paediatrician, immunisation co-ordinator or consultant in communicable disease control rather than withholding the vaccine.

The vaccines should not be given to those who have had:

  • a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccines
  • a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to any component of the vaccines

Confirmed anaphylaxis is rare. Other allergic conditions, such as rashes, may occur more commonly and are not contraindications to further immunisation. A careful history of the event will often distinguish between true anaphylaxis and other events that are either not due to the vaccine or not life-threatening. In the latter circumstance, it may be possible to continue the immunisation course. Specialist advice must be sought on the vaccines and the circumstances in which they could be given. The risk to the individual of not being immunised must be taken into account.

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full guideline available from…


Public Health England. Pneumococcal: the green book, chapter 25. January 2018.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

First included: May 2019.