Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Brand name: Pneumovax-23 TM

Active ingredients: pneumoccocal 23 valent vaccine

What it is used for

PNEUMOVAX 23 is indicated for immunisation of individuals in the following situations: All individuals over the age of 65 years; Individuals with asplenia, either functional or anatomical, including sickle cell disease, in persons more than 2 years of age; where possible the vaccine should be given at least 14 days before splenectomy; Immunocompromised patients at increased risk of pneumococcal disease (eg patients with HIV infection before the development of AIDS, nephrotic syndrome, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and organ transplantation); Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50 years of age; Immunocompetent persons at increased risk of complications from pneumococcal disease because of chronic illness (eg chronic cardiac, renal or pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism and cirrhosis); Patients with cerebrospinal fluid leaks. In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) currently recommends the vaccination of tobacco smokers with the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine. PNEUMOVAX 23 is indicated for immunisation only against pneumococcal disease caused by those pneumococcal types included in the vaccine. Effectiveness of the vaccine in the prevention of pneumococcal pneumonia and pneumococcal bacteremia has been demonstrated. In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) currently recommeds the vaccination of tabacco smokers with the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine. PNEUMOVAX 23 will not prevent disease caused by capsular types of pneumococcus othar those contained in the vaccine.

How to take it

You should seek medical advice in relation to medicines and use only as directed by a healthcare professional.

  • The way to take this medicine: Subcutaneous
  • Store at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius
  • Lifetime is 2 Years.

Always read the label. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Visual appearance

Clear colourless solution

Do I need a prescription?

This medicine is available from a pharmacist and requires a prescription. It is Schedule 4 : Prescription Only Medicine.

Pregnant or planning a pregnancy?

For the active ingredient pneumoccocal 23 valent vaccine

You should seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist about taking this medicine. They can help you balance the risks and the benefits of this medicine during pregnancy.

Download leaflet

For side effects, taking other medicines and more

Download consumer medicine information leaflet (pdf)


The information about this medicine comes from trusted sources.

  • Therapeutic Good's Administration (TGA)
  • Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
  • GuildLink
  • DrugBank

healthdirect medicines information is not intended for use in an emergency. If you are suffering an acute illness, overdose, or emergency condition, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Reasonable care has been taken to provide accurate information at the time of creation. This information is not intended to substitute medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be exclusively relied on to manage or diagnose a medical condition. Please refer to our terms and conditions.

See also

Back to top back to top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo