Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia. This can cause infection in the respiratory tract i.e. lung, sinus or ears. In vulnerable people, such as children, the elderly, and people living with diabetes, these bacteria can invade the bloodstream and cause meningitis and septicaemia. This may lead to deafness, mental disability and even death. People living with diabetes should be vaccinated with Pneumovax 23.