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Pneumovax Dosage

Pneumovax is given as a single .5-mL injection. This is the standard dosage of Pneumovax in most cases; however, certain people may require more than one injection, including those with cancer, HIV, or a damaged spleen. If possible, the vaccine should be given at least two weeks before starting chemotherapy.

An Introduction to Dosing With Pneumovax

The dosage of Pneumovax® (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine) is the same for all approved age groups, regardless of age or weight.

Recommended Dosing Schedule

For most people, only one dose of Pneumovax is recommended. The standard dosage is 0.5 mL, injected into a muscle (intramuscularly) or just under the skin (subcutaneously).
However, people who remain at high risk of pneumococcal diseases like pneumonia may need a second dose if it has been five years or more since the first injection. People who should receive a second Pneumovax dosage include:
  • People age 65 and older who had the first dose before the age of 65
  • People age 2 though 64 who:
    • Have a damaged spleen or no spleen
    • Have sickle cell disease
    • Have HIV or AIDS
    • Have cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma
    • Have nephritic syndrome
    • Have had a bone marrow transplant or organ transplant
    • Are taking immune-suppressing medications.

Timing of the Vaccine in Special Situations

In certain situations, appropriate timing of Pneumovax is critical. For people who will be having a planned splenectomy (removal of the spleen), the vaccine should be given at least two weeks ahead of time, if possible.
Similarly, Pneumovax should be given at least two weeks before starting chemotherapy or other immune-suppressing therapy, such as radiation. Vaccination should be avoided during chemotherapy and radiation, and for a certain period afterwards, depending on several factors.
People with HIV or AIDS should be vaccinated as soon as possible after their diagnosis, regardless of whether they have AIDS symptoms.
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Pneumovax Vaccine Information

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