This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
It is recommended for children 2 or older who are at increased risk of
pneumococcal infection. Conditions which increase risk of pneumoccoal
infection include HIV positive status, functional or anatomic
asplenia, and sickle cell or other hemoglobinopathies. It is also
recommended for adults 65 or older and adults with significant
cardiovascular or pulmonary disorders, splenic dysfunction, asplenia,
Hodgkin's Disease, multiple myeloma, cirrhosis, alcoholism, renal
failure, CSF leaks, or immunosuppressive conditions.
Work is underway now to develop and test a pneumococcal conjugate
vaccine (analogous to the HiB conjugate vaccine) to allow immunization
of those younger than 24 months (which is the age group most affected
by S. pneumoniae). This might open up a new indication for
pneumococcal vaccine: prevention of middle ear infections. As of 1997,
four different conjugate pneumococcal vaccines for infants were in
Phase II/III trials (Williams, 1997)