MASSENA, N.Y. (WWTI) — St. Lawrence Health is reminding residents to make sure they are protected from pneumococcal disease.

According to the health service, pneumococcal infections are caused by bacteria and can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and meningitis. To combat the infection the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinations against the disease for all children younger than two and anyone over 65 who has not had the vaccine.

There are two kinds of vaccines that are used in the United States which are pneumococcal conjugate vaccines which are referred to as PCV13, PCV15, or PCV20, and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines which are known as PPSV23. Although the vaccines do not protect against all types of pneumococcal bacteria, they do protect most. However, there is still a chance that those with the vaccine may develop the pneumococcal disease.

The CDC advises that all children younger than two should receive PCV13, and children ages two through 18 with certain medical conditions should receive PCV13 and PPSV23. Adults who have never received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine should receive PCV15 or PCV20 if they are 65 years and older, or age 19 through 64 and have certain medical conditions or other risk factors.

SLH also advised residents on how the vaccine may affect them. According to the health service, most people who get one of these vaccines do not have any serious problems with it; however, side effects can occur and are typically mild. However, some individuals may have redness, swelling or tenderness at the site of the injection, fever, loss of appetite, irritability, headache, fever, or muscle aches and joint pain.

However, SLH assured residents that if side effects do occur, they usually go away within two days. Those interested in receiving more information about the disease and vaccines are encouraged to find more information on the CDC website.