How Effective Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , there have been studies and clinical trials that show the following:5
- Getting at least 1 shot of the pneumonia vaccine helps protect at least 8 in 10 babies from serious infection from invasive pneumococcal disease, 3 in 4 adults 65 and older against pneumococcal disease, and 9 in 20 adults 65 and older against pneumococcal pneumonia.
- Getting 1 shot of pneumonia vaccine helps protect between 6 to 7 in 10 healthy adults against invasive pneumococcal disease.
When To See A Doctor
A person who is over 65 years of age should talk to their doctor about which pneumonia vaccine may be best for them. The doctor can help determine whether they should get the vaccination, which vaccination to get, and when to get it.
Parents and caregivers of young children should talk to a pediatrician about the schedule for the pneumonia vaccination. The pediatrician can also address any questions or concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccination.
A person does not need to see a doctor for mild reactions to the vaccine, such as tenderness at the injection site, fever, or fatigue.
However, if a person experiences any life threatening side effects, they should seek emergency help immediately.
Signs and symptoms of allergic reactions in children may include:
- respiratory distress, such as wheezing
What You Should Know About Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that typically stems from several kinds of germs, most often bacteria and viruses.
Symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly, including:
- Chest pain.
- Loss of appetite.
Early detection is often challenging because many people with these symptoms assume they have a cold or the flu.
Its important to also note that the vaccine helps protect against some but not all bacterial pneumonia.
There are dozens of different types of bacterial pneumonia, says Dr. Suri. The vaccine will certainly reduce your risk of the most common bacterial pneumonia.
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The Flu Pneumonia And Inflammation Create A Deadly Threat
Pneumococcal pneumonia can follow other viral infections, particularly influenza, says William Schaffner, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. The biology behind it:The flu virus attaches to, and infects, the cells lining the mucous membranes in the back of the throat, nose and bronchial tubes. Normally, the cells eject infectious agents out of the body via the nose or mouth, or they’re simply swallowed. But when impaired by the flu, the cells lining these membranes allow the bacteria to slip down into the bronchial tubes and trigger a secondary infection, in the lungs. The infection inflames the air sacs in the lungs, causing them to fill with pus and fluid. That not only makes it hard to breathe but can allow bacteria to escape into the bloodstream, causing an infection called sepsis, an aggressive inflammatory response that can, ultimately, lead to organ failure.
Pneumococcal pneumonia, of course, is also likely be a complication of respiratory syncytial virus , a common and highly contagious winter lung infection, whichuncharacteristicallyspread this summer, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the pneumococcal vaccine wont shield you from pneumonia that results from either of them. As Schaffner puts it, Pneumonia from Covid is a different sort of pneumonia.
Problems That Could Happen After Getting Any Injected Vaccine
- People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your doctor if you or your child:
- Feel dizzy
- Have vision changes
- Have ringing in the ears
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What Are Side Effects Of The Pneumonia Vaccine
With any medication, theres always the risk of side effects. Be sure to do your research and talk with your doctor to understand the risks. While most people who get the pneumococcal vaccine dont have serious problems, temporary mild side effects could include:5
- Reactions where the shot was
- Muscle aches or joint pain
- Feeling dizzy
You could also experience vision changes or ringing in your ears. Let your doctor know if you or your family member is taking any medicine or has recently received other vaccines before scheduling your pneumonia vaccine.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Pneumococcal Immunisation
All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time theyre not.
For most people, the chance of having a serious side effect from a vaccine is much lower than the chance of serious harm if you caught the disease.
Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of pneumococcal vaccines, or if you or your child have symptoms after having a pneumococcal vaccine that worry you.
Common side effects of pneumococcal vaccines include:
- pain, redness and swelling where the needle went in
- reduced appetite
- body aches.
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What Is The Pneumonia Shot
The pneumonia shot is a vaccine that keeps you from getting pneumonia. There are two types of vaccines. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is primarily for children under age two, though it can be given to older ages, as well. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is for adults over age 65.
The pneumonia vaccine for older adults is one dose. Unlike the flu vaccine, you donât get it every year.
The vaccine teaches your body to make proteins that will destroy the pneumonia bacteria. These proteins are called antibodies and they will protect you and keep you from getting infected. The pneumonia vaccines donât have live bacteria or viruses in them, so you wonât get pneumonia from the vaccine.
You should have the pneumonia vaccine if you:
- Are over age 65
- Have a long-term health problem
- Protection against 23 strains of pneumonia bacteria
Adults 19 Through 64 Years Old
CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for adults 19 through 64 years old who have certain chronic medical conditions or other risk factors. The tables below provide detailed information.
For adults with any of the conditions or risk factors listed below:
For those who have not previously received any pneumococcal vaccine, CDC recommends you:
- Give 1 dose of PCV15 or PCV20.
- If PCV15 is used, this should be followed by a dose of PPSV23 at least one year later. The minimum interval is 8 weeks and can be considered in adults with an immunocompromising condition, cochlear implant, or cerebrospinal fluid leak.
- If PCV20 is used, a dose of PPSV23 is NOT indicated.
For those who have only received PPSV23, CDC recommends you:
- May give 1 dose of PCV15 or PCV20.
- The PCV15 or PCV20 dose should be administered at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 vaccination.
- Regardless of if PCV15 or PCV20 is given, an additional dose of PPSV23 is not recommended since they already received it.
For those who have received PCV13 with or without PPSV23, CDC recommends you:
- Give PPSV23 as previously recommended.* See Pneumococcal Vaccine Timing for Adults for specific guidance. The incremental public health benefits of providing PCV15 or PCV20 to adults who have received PCV13 only or both PCV13 and PPSV23 have not been evaluated.
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How Often Should My Children Get Pneumonia Vaccine
The age of your child plays a big role in determining the frequency of getting pneumonia vaccine. How often should your child have the vaccine at different ages?
Children Younger than 2 Years Old
Your infants will get PCV13 vaccine as a series of four doses. The first dose will be given at 2 months, second at 4 months, third at 6 months, and the last one between 12 months and 15 months. Your children should get the vaccine even if they miss their shots in the beginning.
Children from 2 to 5 Years Old
Children between 24 months and 4 years old with incomplete PCV13 series should get one dose of it. Those who are in the same age group but has some medical conditions should get a couple of doses of PCV13 in case they have not completed the full course of vaccine. This is usually the case for children with medical conditions, such as cerebrospinal fluid leaks, cochlear implants, sickle cell disease, chronic heart or lung disease, and HIV/AIDS. Children who are on medications that weaken the immune system should get a dose under a physician’s supervision.
Children from 6 to 8 Years Old
Children between 6 and 8 years old should get a single dose of PCV13, especially if they have certain medical conditions, such as HIV-infection, sickle cell disease, and other conditions leading to compromised immunity. These children should receive PCV13 even if they have received doses of PCV7 or PPSV23 in the past. Talk to your healthcare provider for more details.
How Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Work
There are currently two vaccines administered in the United States:
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Can You Prevent Pneumococcal Disease
The best way you can avoid getting pneumococcal disease is to get a vaccine. People at risk should get the shot, such as:
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Adults 65 and older
- Adults with weak immune systems
- Adults who smoke
- Anyone with a chronic disease, such as asthma or other lung diseases
The pneumococcal vaccine is safe and effective.1 There are two types available. Adults with certain medical conditions may need both shots. This includes adults with asthma who take corticosteroids. Medicare and most insurance companies pay for the shot. Talk to your doctor about which one is right for you.
If you have had a pneumococcal infection in the past, it will not keep you from getting it again. You still need the shot.
Safety Concerns Of The Pneumonia Shot At Age 65
The pneumonia shot for seniors is a safe vaccine that stops 50% to 70% of pneumonia infections. There are times you shouldnât get the vaccine, though.
You shouldnât get it if youâre allergic to the vaccine or have serious allergies. If youâve had a severe allergic reaction to the pneumonia vaccine before or to any of its ingredients, you shouldnât have the vaccine. If youâve had a bad reaction to a vaccine before, make sure to tell your doctor before getting it.â
If you have a fever, you should wait to have the vaccine. Itâs generally safe to have the vaccine if youâre mildly unwell. If you have a fever and chills, you should wait to get the pneumonia vaccine until you feel better.
You might have some side effects from the pneumonia shot. Common symptoms include:
Sometimes people donât like needles or feel faint after a needle or medical procedure. This might cause you to feel unwell. Symptoms can include:
- Feeling sick
- Ringing in your ears
If you know you donât like needles or feel worried before getting a vaccine, you can try to look away while you have the shot. You can also try a relaxation technique like deep breathing or visualization to help you feel calm.
Older people are more likely to have long-term health problems that can make getting an infection dangerous. The pneumonia shot is recommended for most people.
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Who Might Not Be Able To Get These Vaccines
Because of age or health conditions, some people should not get certain vaccines or should wait before getting them. Read the guidelines below specific to pneumococcal vaccines and ask your or your childs doctor for more information.
- Children younger than 2 years old should not get PPSV23.
- Anyone younger than 19 years old should not get PCV15 or PCV20.
In addition, tell the person who is giving you or your child a pneumococcal vaccine if:
You or your child have had an allergic reaction to an earlier pneumococcal shot or have any severe, life-threatening allergies.
- Do not get a PCV shot if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction after
- Any type of PCV
- Any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid
You or your child are not feeling well.
- People who have a mild illness, such as a cold, can probably get vaccinated. People who have a more serious illness should probably wait until they recover. Your or your childs doctor can advise you.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild to severe. The symptoms depend on the type of germ that caused the infection, your age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms of pneumonia are often similar the symptoms of a cold or flu, but the effects of pneumonia last longer.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Chest pain when you breathe or cough
- Confusion or changes in mental awareness
- Cough, which may produce phlegm
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Lower-than-normal body temperature
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
Newborns and infants may not show any sign or symptoms of the infection. However, they may vomit, have a fever, cough, be restless or tired, or have difficulty breathing and eating.
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Pneumonia Vaccine: How Often Should You Get It
In the U.S., pneumococcal disease is responsible for killing thousands of people each year and about 18,000 of these are people older than 65. Thousands of adults have to stay in the hospital for proper treatment because the disease can cause several complications, including infections of the lining of the spinal cord and brain, bloodstream, and lungs. To ensure you do not have to deal with these complications, it is important to receive vaccinations for pneumococcal disease. The vaccine you receive contains the bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae that helps build immunity against bacterial pneumonia. While the vaccine definitely helps, you need to know when to get pneumonia vaccine. How often should you get the vaccine is anther question people ask. Here is the answer.
How Much Do The Pneumonia Vaccines Cost
Medicare Part B covers 100% of the cost of the pneumococcal vaccines with no copayments or other costs. Check that your provider accepts Medicare assignment before the visit to ensure full coverage.
There are many different Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurance companies. Each come with different costs. Review the benefits and costs of each plan with your specific budget and needs in mind to make the best choice for your situation.
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What Are Other Causes Of Pneumonia
Pneumococcal disease is not the only cause of pneumonia. Viruses, fungi, and other bacteria can cause pneumonia too. Some of the most common causes of pneumonia include:
- Respiratory syncytial virus
- The common cold
Less often, illnesses like whooping cough, measles, and chickenpox can cause pneumonia. Vaccines are available for these illnesses. Getting these vaccines along with the flu, COVID-19, and pneumococcal vaccines can help you reduce the chances you get pneumonia. Pneumonia can be serious. About 3 million Americans go to the emergency department each year for pneumonia. Around 50,000 Americans die each year from pneumonia.
Why Are People With Asthma At Risk
For people with asthma, pneumococcal disease can be very serious. But doctors dont fully understand why. It may be because airways with asthma are different. It may make the lungs more likely to be affected by pneumococcal bacteria and infection. Corticosteroids, a common asthma medicine, may also increase your risk because they suppress your immune system.6-8 This is why health care providers say you should get the vaccine for pneumococcal disease if you have asthma.1
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What Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
There are currently two types of pneumococcal vaccines that cover different strains of a common type of bacteria that can lead to pneumonia. This type of bacteria poses risks for young children but can also be risky for those who are older or have compromised immune systems.
The two vaccines are:
- pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
- pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
According torecent data, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend that people who are 65 and older should get the Pneumovax 23 shot.
However, both vaccines may be needed in certain circumstances when there is greater risk. These situations can include:
- if you live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- if you live in an area with many unvaccinated children
- if you travel to areas with a large population of unvaccinated children
Here is a comparison between the two available vaccines:
|Protects against 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae||Protects against 23 strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae|
|No longer routinely given to people 65 and older||One dose for anyone 65 years and older|
|Only given if you and your doctor decide it is needed to protect you from risk, then one dose for those 65 and older||If you were already given PCV13, you should get PCV23 at least 1 year later|
Pneumonia vaccines can prevent serious infections from the most common strains of pneumococcal bacteria.
Possible side effects