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.
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.
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.
Recommended Reading: Does Pneumonia Cause Abdominal Pain
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 .
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
Don’t Miss: Where Can You Get Pneumonia Shots
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.
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
You May Like: Can An Inhaler Help With Pneumonia
How Long Does A Pneumonia Shot Last
Streptococcus pneumoniaevaccinepneumoniaStreptococcus pneumoniae
- Younger than 2 years old: four shots
- 65 years old or older: two shots, which will last you the rest of your life
- Between 2 and 64 years old: between one and three shots if you have certain immune system disorders or if youre a smoker
When Should You Schedule Your Vaccines
Older adults should get their flu shots by the end of October or ideally even sooner, particularly in light of the expected increase in demand for the 202021 winter season caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, given the concerns surrounding the pandemic, older adults should make sure they are up to date on all their vaccinations and any booster shots by the end of October, before winter sets in, Privor-Dumm says.
Still, its important to stagger your vaccinations, as getting them all done at one time could lead to complications. Talk to your doctor about setting up a vaccination schedule that works for you.
RELATED: Get a Flu Shot Now, or Wait?
Read Also: How To Build Your Lungs Up After Pneumonia
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.
Everything You Need To Know About The Pneumonia Vaccine For Seniors
Medically reviewed by Dr. Nick Rosen, MD on October 12th, 2020
Influenza , coronavirus , and allergies arent the only respiratory illnesses or infections to stress about this fall seasonespecially if you have underlying health concerns, are immunocompromised, or are an at-risk adult over the age of 65. For these individuals, pneumococcal disease and other relative conditions are also cause for concern. Why? For seniors, the risk of contracting pneumonia is exceptionally higher and much more common when the weather is changing. Due to the high risk level, its strongly encouraged that adults age 65 and over receive the pneumonia vaccineyes, it exists! In this article, DispatchHealth is covering everything you need to know about the pneumococcal vaccine for seniors, including what it is and the benefits of receiving it.
Don’t Miss: Do You Need A Prescription For A Pneumonia Shot
Influenza And Pneumococcal Immunization
Everyone plays a role in infection preventionpatients, families, and healthcare personnelin and out of healthcare facilities.
So do your part! Wherever you are, there is something you can do to stay safe from infections.
Two things that you can do for yourself and your loved ones are to receive an influenza vaccine annually and a pneumonia immunization at the appropriate time according to your age and health history. By doing so, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others who are vulnerable to severe illness or even death if they get one of these viruses.
Flu activity usually peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized. Learn the flu basics.
When Is The Pneumonia Vaccine Given
The pneumonia vaccine is not the same as the flu vaccine, as it doesnt need to be given at a certain time of year. Rather, it can be given at any time, as long as its safe for you to have it.
However, if youre in a high-risk group for pneumonia, you should get the vaccine as soon as possible to make sure youre protected.
You May Like: Can You Catch Pneumonia From A Dog
How Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Work
There are currently two vaccines administered in the United States:
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.
Recommended Reading: Pneumonia Shot Schedule For Adults
Types Of Pneumonia Vaccine
There are two vaccines which can provide protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae. They cannot prevent other types of bacterial pneumonia or any associated with a fungus or virus.
The two FDA-approved vaccines immunize a person against the specific serotypes that are most likely to cause illness and invasive disease. They are:
- PCV13, marketed under the name Prevnar 13,which prevents 13 of the most severe types of S. pneumoniaeï»¿ï»¿
- PPSV23, marketed under the name Pneumovax 23, which protects against an additional 23 S. pneumoniae serotypesï»¿ï»¿
Neither vaccine is made from a live or whole bacteria but rather parts of the bacterial shell. While these components cannot cause disease, the immune system recognizes them as threats and triggers a defensive response in the same way it would to a real bacteria.
The PVC13 vaccine is delivered intramuscularly either into the deltoid muscle of the upper arm or the vastus lateralis muscle of the external thigh. The PPSV23 shot can either be given intramuscularly or subcutaneously .
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?
You May Like: Does The Flu Cause Pneumonia
Booster Doses Of Pneumococcal Vaccine
If you’re at increased risk of a pneumococcal infection, you’ll be given a single dose of the PPV vaccine.
But if your spleen does not work properly or you have a chronic kidney condition, you may need booster doses of PPV every 5 years.
This is because your levels of antibodies against the infection decrease over time.
Your GP surgery will advise you on whether you’ll need a booster dose.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do For Swollen Arm After Pneumonia Shot
An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure
In the 1940s all of the strains of pneumococcus could be treated with the antibiotic, penicillin. However, over time many pneumococcal strains have become resistant not only to penicillin, but also to other antibiotics developed to combat bacterial infections. Resistance means that bacteria have changed, or evolved, so that they are no longer killed by one or more antibiotics. As a result, treatment with those antibiotics is not effective against those resistant strains.
Strains of pneumococcus have now been identified that are highly resistant to most antibiotics. Our reliance on and overuse of antibiotics have led to this resistance, backing us into a corner when treating infections caused by these and other types of bacteria. Unfortunately, we have taken our first steps into a post-antibiotic era. This makes the use of vaccines all the more important.
When Should Pneumococcal Vaccine Be Given
Prevnar 13® : Doctors give this vaccine to children at 2, 4, 6, and 12 through 15 months old. Adults who need this vaccine only get 1 shot. The vaccine helps protect against the 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria that most commonly cause serious infections in children and adults.
At what age should the first pneumococcal vaccine be given?
When Are PCV and PPSV Immunizations Given? Infants get PCV13 immunizations as a series of four injections: the first at 2 months of age. then at 4 months, 6 months, and 1215 months.
What is the schedule for pneumococcal vaccine? 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.
When is pneumonia vaccine recommended?
CDC recommends PPSV23 for all adults 65 years or older, people 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions, and adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes. Talk with your or your childs clinician if you have questions about pneumococcal vaccines.
Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Cover The Pneumonia Shot
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: