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Is pneumococcal disease the same as meningococcal disease?

Page last updated 09 April 2020

Pneumococcal disease is not the same as meningococcal disease. While the sites of infection can be the same (such as infection of the lining of the brain – or meningitis), the terms ‘pneumococcal’ and ‘meningococcal’ describe different types of bacteria that infect the body.

Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacteria known as pneumococcus, while meningococcal disease is caused by a bacteria called meningococcus. Both of these bacteria may be found living naturally in the nose and throat of some people without causing symptoms, while in others, the bacteria can become invasive and cause disease.

The vaccines for pneumococcal disease and meningococcal disease are different, and being vaccinated against one of these diseases does not provide protection against the other. For more information about meningococcal disease and its prevention, speak to your healthcare professional and visit our meningococcal disease page.


Sources & Citations

2. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Pneumococcal disease. Available at: (accessed 17 March 2020).

8. Victoria State Government. Better Health Channel. Meningococcal disease. Available at: (accessed 17 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0149(1) - Date of preparation April 2020