What Are the Side Effects of a Pneumonia Vaccine?

The side effects of a pneumonia vaccine include high fever, significant swelling at the injection site and sore muscles, according to WebMD. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine and experience serious side effects such as hives, dizziness, trouble breathing and fast heartbeats.

Having chills is a common side effect of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, states Mayo Clinic. More serious side effects of this type of pneumonia vaccine include eye pain, headaches, itching, weight gain or loss and bloating. Some individuals may develop swollen joints or general bodily discomfort with a low fever. Women who know that they are pregnant should avoid getting a pneumonia vaccine because the safety of the vaccines during pregnancy has not been evaluated, claims MedicineNet.

Pneumonia vaccines are considered safe, and most people do not experience any side effects other than typical redness or soreness at the injection site, asserts WebMD. The two types of pneumonia vaccines available in the United States, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, should not be given to people with known allergies to the ingredients in the vaccines. Individuals with compromised immune systems should get the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine every five years, whereas individuals with certain illnesses, including sickle cell disease, should get the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

The risk of death or harm from a pneumococcal vaccine is extremely unlikely, according to WebMD. In studies of the PCV vaccine, the option recommended for young children, 1 in 4 infants experience tenderness, swelling or redness at the site of the shot, while 1 in 3 experience a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. In rare instances, a vaccine recipient may experience a severe allergic reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine. Most reactions occur within several minutes of receiving the shot. Symptoms may include hives, high fever, weakness, pale skin, hoarse voice, dizziness, rapid heart beat, difficulty breathing and behavioral changes. Individuals should seek immediate medical care if they experience any of these signs after receiving a pneumococcal vaccine.

Those who are severely ill should talk to a doctor before receiving the vaccine, and pregnant women should avoid it unless absolutely necessary as the vaccine’s safety during pregnancy is unknown as of 2015, as confirmed by WebMD. Individuals should not receive this vaccine if they have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to another vaccine.