Is It True That More Than One Type Of Infection Can Cause Meningitis
Yes. Everyone has heard it on the news the story of a local student infected with meningitis. Such a report inevitably results in many questions and a great amount of concern and even fear among families with children in the affected school.
There are some important considerations when this happens. First, it is important to remember that meningitis refers to an infection that has reached the lining of the brain and spinal cord. Second, it can be caused by viruses or bacteria .
Viral meningitis, the most common type of meningitis, is often less severe than bacterial meningitis. Vaccine-preventable diseases that can cause viral meningitis include measles, mumps, chickenpox and influenza.
Most, but not all, cases of bacterial meningitis can be prevented by vaccination. The bacteria most often associated with meningitis include meningococcus, pneumococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae type B . Fortunately, by the age of 2, most children are fully immunized against pneumococcus and Hib and most adolescents are protected against meningococcus.
Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
People should not get the vaccine if they have had a life threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose.
Additionally, a person should not undergo vaccination if they have had an allergic reaction to medication containing diphtheria toxoid or an earlier form of the pneumonia vaccination .
Lastly, people who are sick or have allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the vaccine should talk to a doctor before getting the shot.
A pneumonia shot will not reduce pneumonia. However, it helps prevent invasive pneumococcal diseases, such as meningitis, endocarditis, empyema, and bacteremia, which is when bacteria enter the bloodstream.
Noninvasive pneumococcal disease includes sinusitis.
There are two types of pneumonia shots available. Which type a person gets depends on their age, whether or not they smoke, and the presence of any underlying medical conditions.
The two types are:
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine : Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for young children, people with certain underlying conditions, and some people over the age of 65 years.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine : Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for anyone over 65 years of age, people with certain underlying conditions, and people who smoke.
According to the
- roughly 8 in 10 babies from invasive pneumococcal disease
- 45 in 100 adults 65 years or older against pneumococcal pneumonia
- 75 in 100 adults 65 years or older against invasive pneumococcal disease
Pneumococcal Infections After Influenza
Pneumococcus is known as an opportunistic infection because it lives in the respiratory tract of people without causing disease, but when the respiratory tract is compromised by an infection such as influenza, the bacteria then invades the lungs , bloodstream , or brain and spinal cord . Activities like smoking can also disrupt the lining of the nose and throat and allow for pneumococcal infections and subsequent disease.
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Side Effects Of Pneumococcal Vaccine
Like other vaccines, there are certain side effects associated with PCV13 and PPSV23 vaccines. You do not usually experience life-threatening complications though. Some people may have problems such as redness, swelling, and soreness at the site of the shot. This should resolve in a few days.
About 1% of people experience other side effects after getting the shot, and the list includes muscle aches, fever, and severe swelling. A severe allergic reaction may occur if you are allergic to anything in the vaccines. The most common signs of a severe allergic reaction are dizziness, breathing difficulty, behavior changes, hives, high fever, hoarse voice, rapid heartbeat, pale skin, and weakness. Seek immediate medical assistance if you experience these symptoms.
What Is Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria. Some people get the germs that cause pneumococcal disease, but dont get sick these people are called carriers. But others may get ear infections and sinus infections. And sometimes, pneumococcal disease can lead to serious infections like pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia, and sepsis.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can cause symptoms like:
- Fever and chills
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
Older adults with pneumonia may also feel confused or have low alertness .
Meningitis is inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can cause symptoms like:
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Feeling confused
Babies may have other symptoms, like being less active than usual, fussing, throwing up, and not wanting to eat.
Bacteremia is an infection of the bloodstream that can cause symptoms like:
- Low alertness
is the bodys extreme reaction to an infection. It can cause symptoms like:
- Fast heart rate or low blood pressure
- Fever, chills, or feeling very cold
- Feeling confused
- Shortness of breath
- Severe pain or discomfort
Pneumococcal bacteria spread through droplets in the air like when someone who has the bacteria in their nose or throat coughs or sneezes. Learn more about pneumococcal disease.
All infants, young children, and adults age 65 years and older need to get vaccinated against pneumococcal disease.
See the routine vaccination schedule for:
Pneumococcal vaccines are also recommended for people who:
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Who Needs One Or Two Pneumonia Vaccines
There are two pneumococcal vaccines, each working in a different way to maximize protection. PPSV23 protects against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. Those 23 strains are about 90- to 95-plus percent of the strains that cause pneumonia in humans, Poland explains. PCV13, on the other hand, is a conjugate vaccine that protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. PCV13 induces immunologic memory, he says. Your body will remember that it has encountered an antigen 20 years from now and develop antibodies to fight it off.
In order to get the best protection against all strains of bacteria that cause pneumonia, the CDC has long recommended that everyone 65 or older receive both vaccines: PCV13 , followed by the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine at a later visit. But the agency is now saying that PCV13 may not be necessary for healthy people 65 and older, suggesting that the decision be left up to patients and their physicians as to whether that extra skin prick is appropriate.
“Anyone who reaches the age of 65 and is in any way immunocompromised or has any of the listed indications for pneumococcal vaccine because they’re in a high-risk group for example, if they have diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, or are a smoker should continue to get both vaccines, says Schaffner.
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Vaccines For Children Program
The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. A child is eligible if they are younger than 19 years old and meets one of the following requirements:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
If your child is VFC-eligible, ask if your doctor is a VFC provider. For help in finding a VFC provider near you, contact your state or local health departments VFC Program Coordinator or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO .
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What’s The Best Time Of Year To Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
It’s really up to you. “You can get it any time of the year,” Dr. Panettieri says. “Pneumonia is most common in the winter and fall, but you can get the pneumococcal vaccine any time.”
Just a heads up, per the ACIP: If you and your doctor decide that you should get PCV13, you’ll want to wait at least a year until you get PPSV23. Research has found that waiting at least a year between these vaccines created the best immune response.
If you have any questions about the pneumonia vaccine and whether it’s right for you, talk to your doctor for guidance.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- When should I make an appointment to get each type of pneumococcal vaccine?
- Should I still get the vaccines if Ive recently had pneumonia?
- Should I wait to turn 65 before I get each dose of pneumococcal vaccines?
- If I have a negative reaction to one type of pneumococcal vaccine, am I likely to have that same reaction to the other?
Funding was provided for these pneumococcal resources through an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Independent Grant for Learning and Change .
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Who Should Have The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Anyone can get a pneumococcal infection. But some people are at higher risk of serious illness, so it’s recommended they’re given the pneumococcal vaccination on the NHS.
- adults aged 65 or over
- children and adults with certain long-term health conditions, such as a serious heart or kidney condition
Babies are offered 2 doses of pneumococcal vaccine, at 12 weeks and at 1 year of age.
People aged 65 and over only need a single pneumococcal vaccination. This vaccine is not given annually like the flu jab.
If you have a long-term health condition you may only need a single, one-off pneumococcal vaccination, or a vaccination every 5 years, depending on your underlying health problem.
Who Should Not Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
Again, its best to determine this with your doctor, but as a general rule, the CDC states you should not get the pneumococcal vaccine if:
- You or your child has had a severe or life-threatening allergy to the current PCV13 or Prevnar 13®) vaccine, the past PCV7 vaccine or any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid.
- You or your child are currently battling a severe illness.
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Cdc’s Updated Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations For Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met on October 20, 2021, to review current evidence and provide updated pneumococcal vaccine recommendations for adults. During this meeting two votes occurred: one regarding a risk-based recommendation for adults 19 years of age and older and one for an age-based recommendation for adults 65 years of age and older both votes passed unanimously.
On January 27, 2022, the CDC published the new recommendations of the pneumococcal vaccine for all adults 19 years or older who have not previously received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous vaccination history is unknown. CDC now recommends PCV15 or PCV20 for adults 19 through 64 years old with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors and all adults 65 years or older. To review in further detail, including clinical guidance surrounding this recommendation, the complete policy note can be found here.
Highlights of the new recommendations include:
The 2022 Adult Immunization Schedule, that is set to be released on February 18, will reflect these changes.
Who Should Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the pneumococcal vaccine for those who fall into the following groups:
- All babies and children younger than 2 years old.
- All adults 65 years or older.
- Adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes.
- Children older than 2 and adults younger than 65 who have certain chronic diseases .
- Those who are at increased risk for certain diseases and those who have impaired immune systems.
The recommendations are sometimes confusing, so its a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about your questions and concerns, Dr. Suri says.
And dont wait to have that conversation. This is an infection you see year-round, she adds.
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How Do You Catch Pneumococcus
Pneumococcus is a bacterium that is commonly found lining the surface of the nose and the back of the throat in fact, about 25 of every 100 people are colonized with pneumococcus. Many children will come in contact with pneumococcus sometime in the first two years of life. Because most adults have immunity to pneumococcus, a mother will passively transfer antibodies from her own blood to the blood of her baby before the baby is born. The antibodies that the baby gets before birth usually last for a few months. However, as these maternal antibody levels diminish, the baby becomes vulnerable. Most children who first come in contact with pneumococcus don’t have a problem. But every year tens of thousands of children suffer severe, often debilitating, and occasionally fatal infections with pneumococcus most of these children were previously healthy and well nourished.
What Are The Side Effects Of The Pneumonia Vaccine
Most people don’t usually have serious side effects from either vaccine, but it’s possible to have some mild symptoms.
The most common side effects with PCV13 include:
- Redness where the shot was given.
- Swelling where the shot was given.
- Pain or tenderness where the shot was given.
The most common side effects with PPSV23 include:
- Redness where the shot was given.
- Pain where the shot was given.
- Muscle aches.
If you do happen to have side effects, CDC says they’ll usually go away within two days.
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Which Adults Should Get The Pneumococcal Vaccine
The following groups of adults should get both types of the pneumococcal vaccine :
- Adults 65 years and older because they are at high risk of pneumococcal infections
- Adults without a functioning spleen
- Adults who are immune compromised by disease, chemotherapy or steroids
- Individuals who are HIV positive
The following groups of adults should get the polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine regardless of age:
- Adults who smoke or suffer from alcoholism
- Adults with heart or lung disease, liver disease, asthma, diabetes or cancer
Persons New To Canada
Health care providers who see persons newly arrived in Canada should review the immunization status and update immunization for these individuals, as necessary. Review of pneumococcal vaccination status is particularly important for persons from areas of the world where sickle cell disease is present, as persons with sickle cell disease are at risk of serious pneumococcal infections. In many countries outside of Canada, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is in limited use. Refer to Immunization of Persons New to Canada in Part 3 for additional information about vaccination of people who are new to Canada.
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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.
Path To Improved Health
Pneumococcal vaccines can protect you against getting pneumonia, which is contagious and spreads from close, person-to-person contact. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and can lead to many symptoms, including:
- chest pains
- bringing up mucus when you cough
For seniors, pneumonia can be very serious and life-threatening. This is especially true if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or COPD. Pneumonia can also develop after youve had a case of the flu or a respiratory virus such as COVID-19. It is extremely important to stay current on flu shots each year in addition to your pneumococcal vaccines.
While PPSV23 and PCV13 do not protect against all types of pneumonia, they can make it less likely that you will experience severe and possibly life-threatening complications from the illness.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that seniors who have not had either pneumococcal vaccine should get a dose of PCV13 first, and then a dose of PPSV23 6-12 months later. The vaccines cannot be given at the same time. If you have recently had a dose of PPSV23, your doctor will wait at least one year to give you PCV13.
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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.