Redness, soreness and swelling at the site of the shot are the most common reactions to pneumococcal vaccines, and less than 1 percent of recipients experience severe pain, severe swelling, fever or muscle aches, according to WebMD. In rare instances, the vaccines can cause a serious allergic reaction.
Reactions to the two common pneumococcal vaccines, PPSV23 and PCV13, are similar, and risk of harm or death is extremely low, according to WebMD. Symptoms of an allergic reaction generally occur within several minutes to several hours of receiving the vaccine, and they can include dizziness, rapid pulse, high fever, hives and hoarseness. Patients may also experience behavioral shifts and difficulty breathing. Patients who experience any of these symptoms should seek immediate medical care.
Individuals should not receive either shot if they've had a severe allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccines, and pregnant women should only receive a vaccine if absolutely necessary, as stated by WebMD. While PCV13 is recommended for children and adults with certain health conditions, PPSV23 should be given to adults ages 19 to 64 who smoke, have asthma or suffer from a condition that affects the immune system. A dose of each vaccine is recommended for adults over age 65.