What is pneumococcal disease?
Pneumococcal disease can be caused by many different types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Many people carry these bacteria in their nose or throat, but do not become ill.
But if an infected person coughs or sneezes... the bacteria can spread.
Pneumococcal bacteria can cause pneumonia, ear infections or sinus infections.
If the bacteria gets deeper inside your body, you could develop severe pneumonia, meningitis or blood poisoning (septicaemia).
These are serious illnesses that require hospitalisation.
In addition, you could develop permanent health problems, become disabled, or even die.
Infants and the elderly have the highest risk of becoming seriously ill.
Pneumococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Babies receive vaccinations at the ages of three, five and eleven months old.
Starting in 2020, the elderly will also be vaccinated.
See rivm.nl/en/pneumococci for a list of who will be invited for the vaccination this year.
The vaccinations protect them against the most dangerous types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Would you like to know more?
Go to www.rivm.nl/en/national-immunisation-programme or rivm.nl/en/pneumococci