PPSV23 (Pneumovax 23)

This vaccine protects against pneumococcal disease

Ingredients:

Active ingredients:

This is a polysaccharide vaccine, meaning that the antigen in this vaccine is a sugar from the outside of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. This vaccine contains sugars from 23 serotypes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6B, 7F, 8, 9N, 9V, 10A, 11A, 12F, 14, 15B, 17F, 18C, 19F, 19A, 20, 22F, 23F, and 33F).

Because this contains sugars (not the whole bacterium), you cannot get pneumococcal disease from the vaccine. 

Inactive ingredients:

Salts: help maintain the stability and pH of the vaccine

Other Stabilizers:

 

Relevant Terms

  • Adjuvant: a compound added to some vaccines to strengthen the immune response

  • Antibody: a protein made by the immune system in response to a foreign particle (antigen). These proteins circulate in the blood and help defend the body against the substance.  

  • Antigen: This is any substance that triggers the immune system to create antibodies. For example, allergens such as pollen are antigens. 

  • Bacteria: A type of single-celled organism. Some can cause disease, but many are harmless and some actually benefit humans by living in the intestines and helping with digestion 

  • Bacterium: The singular of bacteria (one bacterium, two bacteria)

  • Emulsifier: a substance that helps to keep the ingredients mixed together

  • pH: a measure of how acidic or basic a solution is. The scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic). A pH of 7 is neutral.

  • Polysaccharide: another word for sugar

  • Serotype: a group of strains within a species that share a particular type of surface structure.