Who Needs The Pneumococcal Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the PPSV23 vaccine for all adults 65 years or older as well as adults 19 years or older with certain medical conditions that could put them at greater risk of infection. The PCV13 vaccine, on the other hand, should be a shared decision between the patient and clinician due to additional medical considerations.
What Is Pneumococcal Disease
This contagious disease is caused by pneumococcal bacteria , which is the root concern behind many mild to severe respiratory infections. Pneumococcal bacteria can spread from person to person easily via respiratory droplets shared by coughing, sneezing, or close contact to an infected individual or surface. This disease typically starts as a mild infection in the nose, throat, ears, and sinusesbecoming extreme once it spreads to other parts of the body. In severe cases, an individual can develop pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitiswhich can lead to complications and disabilities .
Who Needs A Pneumococcal Vaccination
Anyone aged 65 years or over is eligible for the vaccine. GPs may, at their own discretion, provide immunisation to anyone aged under 65 with the following serious medical conditions:
- problems with the spleen, either because the spleen has been removed or doesnt work properly – for example sickle cell disorder and coeliac disease
- chronic lung disease, including chronic bronchitis or emphysema
- serious heart conditions
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Are You 65 Or Older Get Two Vaccinations Against Pneumonia
- By Gregory Curfman, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Former Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Health Publishing
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
If you or a loved one is age 65 or older, getting vaccinated against pneumonia is a good idea so good that the Centers for Disease Control now recommends that everyone in this age group get vaccinated against pneumonia twice.
This new recommendation is based on findings from a large clinical trial called CAPiTA, which were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Streptococcus pneumoniae, sometimes just called pneumococcus, is a common bacterium that can cause serious lung infections like pneumonia. It can also cause invasive infections of the bloodstream, the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord , and other organs and tissues. Older individuals are especially prone to being infected by Pneumococcus, and these infections are often deadly.
The dark spots are pneumonia-causing Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria isolated from the blood of an infected person.
One caveat is that while PCV13 is effective in preventing pneumonia caused by S. pneumoniae, it does not prevent pneumonia caused by viruses or other bacteria.
What To Think About
Medicines, such as penicillin, used to work well for the treatment of pneumonia and meningitis. These diseases have recently become resistant to these medicines. For this reason it is important to try to prevent the infections by having the PCV or PPV vaccine.
PCV can prevent some ear infections. But ear infections have many causes and PCV only works to prevent some of them. Your child may still have ear infections, even after getting a PCV shot.
PPV has not been studied in pregnant women. There is no evidence that the vaccine is harmful to either the mother or the baby. Pregnant women should talk with a doctor about getting the medicine. Women who are at high risk of pneumococcal disease should have the shot before becoming pregnant, if possible.
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Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Stop You Getting Pneumonia
A vaccine can help lower your chance of contracting pneumonia. While the pneumonia vaccine does not prevent all cases of pneumonia, it reduces the severity of the disease. That is especially important for older adults and if you have certain medical conditions that put you at greater risk for complications.
Pneumococcal Diseases & Pneumonia Shots
There is a category of diseases called pneumococcal disease, of which pneumonia is one of the most dangerousthe other most dangerous being meningitis. People with diabetes are about three times more likely to die with flu and pneumococcal diseases, yet most dont get a simple, safe pneumonia shot.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
Cough that can produce mucus that is gray, yellow, or streaked with blood Chest pain
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Should 80 Year Old Get Shingles Vaccine
A new shingles vaccine is rolling out across the Military Health System, and health care experts say its a game changer. The vaccine, Shingrix, is recommended for healthy adults 50 and older to prevent shingles, a painful skin rash that can have debilitating long-term effects for older people.
Effectiveness Of The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Children respond very well to the pneumococcal vaccine.
The introduction of this vaccine into the NHS childhood vaccination schedule has resulted in a large reduction in pneumococcal disease.
The pneumococcal vaccine given to older children and adults is thought to be around 50 to 70% effective at preventing pneumococcal disease.
Both types of pneumococcal vaccine are inactivated or “killed” vaccines and do not contain any live organisms. They cannot cause the infections they protect against.
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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being Vaccinated
The benefits of vaccination generally far outweigh any risks, Privor-Dumm says. Although vaccines do have some side effects, most are mild and temporary.
The bigger con is getting disease, which may lead to further health complications, she adds. For instance, people who are hospitalized with influenza have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke following their illness, and the economic consequences of a serious illness can be catastrophic for some. Thats why its best to prevent disease in the first place.
What Side Effects Should I Look Out For
Side effects vary from vaccine to vaccine, according to Privor-Dumm.
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services website Vaccine.org, common issues include:
- Soreness at the injection site
- A low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
In very rare cases, you may be allergic to the ingredients in a vaccine or have another severe reaction. If you feel sick in any way after receiving a shot, call your doctor, Privor-Dumm says.
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Should A 90 Year Old Get The Shingles Vaccine
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people 60 years of age or older be vaccinated with one dose of Zostavax to prevent shingles. The older a person is, the more severe the effects of shingles can be, so it is worthwhile for your 90-year-old mother to get the vaccine.
When To Get The Vaccine & What To Expect
Of course, before seeking the pneumococcal vaccines, its important to first speak with your primary care physician and other providers in your healthcare network. Both vaccines are safe but can have side effects and should be avoided by individuals with allergic reactions to any of the components in the vaccine. Keep in mind, its recommended that you not receive both vaccines at the same time. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if both vaccinations are the right choice for your needs. If both vaccines are needed, PCV13 should be given prior to PPSV23. Its important to schedule a separate visitation at least one year after the professionally suggested PCV13 vaccination to receive a dose of the PPSV23 vaccine.
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Everything You Need To Know About The Pneumonia Vaccine
During the winter months, many people think that they have a nasty cold or flu, but it turns out to be pneumonia an illness that can be life threatening in certain people. A vaccine can help lower your chance of contracting pneumonia. While the pneumonia vaccine does not prevent all cases of pneumonia, it reduces the severity of the disease.
That is especially important for older adults and if you have certain medical conditions that put you at greater risk for complications.
Now is the time to talk to your doctor about your risks and if you need a vaccine to protect you against pneumonia.
Niharika Juwarkar, MD, Internal Medicine with Firelands Physician Group, answers your most frequently asked questions about pneumonia and the risks.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory lung infection that is often mistaken for the flu. Your lungs become filled with fluid or pus that results in inflammation. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, but pneumonia can last for weeks and result in very serious complications.
While pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, most cases are due to a specific bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae, more commonly known as pneumococcal pneumonia. This form can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor can test to see what form of pneumonia you have. Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have and the severity of your symptoms. But, the best defense is vaccination.
Who is most at risk for pneumonia?
How Long Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Last
For most adults, one dose of the pneumonia vaccine should last a lifetime. In other words, you wont usually need to get another dose. This makes it different to the flu vaccine, which is given every year.
For some people, boosters of the pneumonia vaccine will be needed. This will be the case for people who have underlying health conditions that make them high-risk for pneumonia and related conditions. Your doctor will let you know if you need another vaccine.
If youre somebody who needs top-ups of the pneumonia vaccine, youll be able to receive them for free on the NHS.
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The Importance Of Receiving The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Fact: Thousands of adults are killed by the pneumococcal disease every year in the United Statesespecially adults 65 or older, individuals with chronic health concerns, and those who are immunocompromised.
Myth: Everyone knows that theres a vaccine available to prevent pneumococcal disease from wreaking havoc in compromised individuals.
There are an exceptional number of adults unaware of the pneumococcal diseases dangers and the pneumococcal vaccines existence and benefits. To remove yourself from this statistic, here are the facts:
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Pcv And Ppsv Vaccines
Kids may have redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given. A child also might have a fever after getting the shot. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccines contain only a small piece of the germ and so cannot cause pneumococcal disease.
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Whats The Difference Between Pcv13 And Ppsv23
|helps protect you against 13 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria||helps protect you against 23 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria|
|usually given four separate times to children under two||generally given once to anyone over 64|
|generally given only once to adults older than 64 or adults older than 19 if they have an immune condition||given to anyone over 19 who regularly smokes nicotine products like cigarettes or cigars|
- Both vaccines help prevent pneumococcal complications like bacteremia and meningitis.
- Youll need more than one pneumonia shot during your lifetime. A 2016 study found that, if youre over 64, receiving both the PCV13 shot and the PPSV23 shot provide the best protection against all the strains of bacteria that cause pneumonia.
- Dont get the shots too close together. Youll need to wait about a year in between each shot.
- Check with your doctor to make sure youre not allergic to any of the ingredients used to make these vaccines before getting either shot.
- a vaccine made with diphtheria toxoid
- another version of the shot called PCV7
- any previous injections of a pneumonia shot
- are allergic to any ingredients in the shot
- have had severe allergies to a PPSV23 shot in the past
- are very sick
Concurrent Administration Of Vaccines
Pneumococcal vaccines may be administered concomitantly with other vaccines, with the exception of a different formulation of pneumococcal vaccine . There should be at least an 8 week interval between a dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and a subsequent dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine, and at least a 1 year interval between a dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine and a subsequent dose of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine refer to Immunocompromised persons for information regarding administration of pneumococcal vaccines to HSCT recipients. Different injection sites and separate needles and syringes must be used for concurrent parenteral injections. Refer to Timing of Vaccine Administration in Part 1 for additional information about concurrent administration of vaccines.
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Why No Shot For Pneumonia After Age 70
Dear Dr. Donohue Why does the medical profession tell us that folks over 70 do not need a pneumonia shot in the fall when they get their flu shots? Why do some say you should get the shot every year, while others say every other year, and some say every five years? Please clear up. S.M.
Answer The pneumonia shot is a vaccine for one kind of pneumonia, pneumococcal pneumonia, the kind caused by the bacterium pneumococcus . It’s a very serious kind of pneumonia, one that often proves lethal for the elderly.
The adult vaccine in use affords protection against 23 of more than 90 different strains. The name of the vaccine is Pneumovax 23. A single dose of the vaccine given to people age 65 and older is all the vaccine needed at the present time. However, if a person received the vaccine at an age younger than 65, that person does need a booster shot five years after the first shot was given.
Dear Dr. Donohue I recently read that mad cow disease and Alzheimer’s disease are a lot alike. Is there any truth to that? M.S.
Answer Mad cow disease is quite rare in North America. It’s not related to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s caused by an unusual germ called a prion a protein, a newly discovered life form. It’s an infectious disease. When humans are infected, their mental facilities fall apart somewhat rapidly.
Write Dr. Donohue at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, Fla. 32853-6475.
When To Get The Vaccine
Thereâs no such thing as pneumonia season, like flu season. If you and your doctor decide that you need to have a pneumonia vaccine, you can get it done at any time of the year. If itâs flu season, you can even get a pneumonia vaccine at the same time that you get a flu vaccine, as long as you receive each shot in a different arm.
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Will Being Vaccinated Against Flu Pneumonia And Shingles Help Prevent Covid
The short answer is no. But reducing your risk for getting sick with the flu, pneumonia, or shingles which is what these vaccines do makes a lot of sense during the pandemic, Privor-Dumm says.
Lowering your risk for vaccine-preventable diseases will help you avoid doctors offices and hospitals, which will reduce any potential exposure to the coronavirus, Privor-Dumm adds.
Plus, Privor-Dumm says, Preventing serious disease can help keep you out of the hospital at a time when health resources may be needed to treat COVID-19 patients.
Do Children Need Protection Against Pneumococcal Disease
Yes. Infants and young children in the United States need to be protected against pneumococcal disease. In fact, they are routinely vaccinated for pneumococcal disease because it is part of the standard infant immunization schedule. Pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for older children and adolescents with kidney disease, kidney failure, or an organ transplant, even if they received the vaccine as infants. If your child hasn’t been vaccinated, talk to your doctor.
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About Author: Ken Harris
Ken Harris is the proudest father and a writing coordinator for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare.He has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a daily newspaper reporter for four years before leaving the field and eventually finding his way to OSF HealthCare.In his free time, Ken likes reading, fly fishing, hanging out with his dog and generally pestering his lovely, patient wife.
Side Effects Of The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Like most vaccines, the childhood and adult versions of the pneumococcal vaccine can sometimes cause mild side effects.
- redness where the injection was given
- hardness or swelling where the injection was given
There are no serious side effects listed for either the childhood or adult versions of the vaccine, apart from an extremely rare risk of a severe allergic reaction .
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Flu And Pneumonia Shots
Having the flu can be dangerous for anyone. But it is extra risky for people with diabetes or other chronic health problems. Having diabetes means having more instances of high blood sugar than a person without diabetes. High blood sugar hinders your white blood cells ability to fight infections.
Beyond people living with diabetes, flu is also extra risky for people with heart disease, smokers and those with chronic lung disease, people who have an impaired immune system , very young children, and people living in very close quarters, such as college dorms, military barracks, or nursing homes.