People With Health Problems And The Pneumococcal Vaccine
The PPV vaccine is available on the NHS for children and adults aged from 2 to 64 years old who are at a higher risk of developing a pneumococcal infection than the general population.
This is generally the same people who are eligible for annual flu vaccination.
You’re considered to be at a higher risk of a pneumococcal infection if you have:
- a suppressed immune system caused by a health condition, such as HIV
- a suppressed immune system caused by medicines, such as chemotherapy or steroid tablets
- a cochlear implant Action on Hearing Loss has more information about cochlear implants
- had a leak of cerebrospinal fluid this could be the result of an accident or surgery
Adults and children who are severely immunocompromised usually have a single dose of PCV followed by PPV.
What Can You Do If You Get The Flu
If you get the flu, there are steps you can take to feel better. Act fast! First, talk with your health care provider. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so you may need to get tested for an accurate diagnosis. This will also help determine which medications might make you feel better.
There are prescription drugs, called antivirals, that are used to treat people with the flu. If you take them within 48 hours after the flu begins, these drugs can make you feel better more quickly. Antivirals can also help reduce your risk of complications from flu. Antibiotics do not help you recover from the flu. Still, they are sometimes prescribed to help you recover from a secondary infection if it is caused by bacteria. Bacteria are a different type of germ than viruses.
If you are sick, rest and drink plenty of fluids like juice and water, but not alcohol. Medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can bring down your fever and might help with the aches and pains. It is important not to smoke if you are sick with the flu. It is a respiratory illness that can infect your lungs as well as your nasal passages. These same areas are also affected by smoking. Take it easy as much as you can until you are well.
Monitor your symptoms and talk with your doctor if your symptoms worsen or become severe. For example, if you:
My Doctor Didnt Tell Me About The Vaccination Is It New
The CDC began recommending adults with asthma get the pneumococcal vaccination in 2008. In 2012, the CDC started recommending adults with certain medical conditions or who take medicines like corticosteroids get the second vaccine. If your doctor hasnt mentioned the vaccine, ask about it as soon as possible.
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How Much Does Getting A Flu Vaccine Cost
Most people can get a flu vaccine for little to no out-of-pocket cost. Medicare and most private health insurance plans will cover the cost of your flu vaccine. However, some insurance plans require that you receive your vaccine at a specific location. Check with your insurance company. If you do not have health insurance, contact your local or state health department.
The Shot: Shingles Vaccine
How often:Two shots separated by two to six months.
What to expect: Your average vaccination soreness, nothing major.
After you turn 50, getting vaccinated for shingles should be on your radar. The shingles vaccine a.k.a. Shingrix is more than 90% effective at protecting against shingles and its complications, and 85% effective for the four years after you get vaccinated. Shingles is a two-vaccine course, Dr. Wolfe says. I’ve often given shingles dose one with the flu shot and shingles dose two with a pneumonia shot, and that saves patients visits. It’s quite safe to be combined.
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What Else Do I Need To Know Before Booking An Appointment
Only one vaccination is needed for long-lasting protection against pneumococcal pneumonia.
The vaccination can be given at any time of the year and can be given at the same time as other vaccinations, such as the flu jab. Our pharmacist will vaccinate into your upper arm so its best to wear a short-sleeved top to your appointment.
This service isnt suitable for anyone whos:
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
- Currently having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- Had an allergic reaction to any injections or vaccinations in the past
- Had a pneumonia vaccination in the last 12 months
This isnt a complete list and suitability will be checked before the vaccination is administered.
If you have a high temperature on the day of your appointment or you have any symptoms of COVID-19, your appointment will need to be rearranged.
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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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.
Who Should You Get A Flu Vaccine And Which One Should You Choose
Flu typically spreads in the fall and winter. It usually starts to spread in October and peaks between December and February. That’s why this time is called the flu season.
It takes at least two weeks for your flu vaccine to start working, so try to get vaccinated by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated after October can still help protect you from the flu. Because older adults may lose immunity from a flu vaccine more quickly, try to avoid getting vaccinated too early .
Several flu vaccines are available. There are also two types of high-dose vaccinations specifically for people 65 years and older that create a stronger immune response after vaccination. Talk with your health care provider or pharmacist about which vaccine is best for you.
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Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Adults And Seniors
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people get additional free annual influenza vaccines and pneumococcal vaccine at 50 years of age through the National Immunisation Program.
Please see your doctor for advice on what you may need.
Generally, adults wont need boosters. We recommend you talk to your doctor if you are not sure:
- if you have had all the recommended vaccines
- if may need boosters
- if someone in your care may need additional vaccines or boosters.
Please note that the National Immunisation Program does not cover adults and seniors for missed or catch-up vaccines. You can buy additional vaccines privately when you need to.
Refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age can get National Immunisation Program vaccines for free. This is if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood.
Check the National Immunisation Program schedule and talk to your doctor or immunisation provider if you have not had all the recommended childhood vaccinations.
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.
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Know The Facts About The Pneumonia Vaccine
Just as with a flu shot, and now the COVID-19 vaccines, some people believe that getting a pneumococcal vaccine will cause them to come down with the disease or experience long-term side effects.
This is absolutely not true, Dr. Suri says.
Not only will the pneumococcal vaccine help reduce the risk of contracting certain types of bacterial pneumonia, it also guards against serious consequences resulting from the flu and severe infections, such as .
For young children, older adults, smokers and those with other risk factors, the vaccine is a healthy choice to make.
I cant see any reason to avoid this vaccine and every reason to get it, she says.
The Different Types Of Pneumococcal Vaccine
The type of pneumococcal vaccine you’re given depends on your age and health. There are 2 types.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is used to vaccinate children under 2 years old as part of the NHS vaccination schedule. It’s known by the brand name Prevenar 13.
Children at risk of pneumococcal infections can have the PPV vaccine from the age of 2 years onwards. The PPV vaccine is not very effective in children under the age of 2.
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Can You Get The Pneumonia Vaccine & The Influenza Vaccine
With flu season here, well also note that you can get the influenza vaccine and either pneumococcal vaccine at the same time. At-risk adults and seniors should always get the influenza vaccine annually, as the flu can further increase risk of contracting pneumococcal disease. However, while you do need the influenza vaccine once a year, you dont need the pneumococcal vaccine annually. In fact, all adults 65 years or older should only receive one dose of PPSV23.
Where Can I Find These Vaccines
Your doctors office is usually the best place to receive recommended vaccines for you or your child.
PCV13 is part of the routine childhood immunization schedule. Therefore, it is regularly available for children at:
- Pediatric and family practice offices
- Community health clinics
If your doctor does not have pneumococcal vaccines for adults, ask for a referral.
Pneumococcal vaccines may also be available for adults at:
- Health departments
- Other community locations, such as schools and religious centers
Federally funded health centers can also provide services if you do not have a regular source of health care. Locate one near youexternal icon. You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get pneumococcal vaccines in your community.
When receiving any vaccine, ask the provider to record the vaccine in the state or local registry, if available. This helps doctors at future encounters know what vaccines you or your child have already received.
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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 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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The Shot: Pneumonia Vaccine
How often: Depends on your health status.
What to expect: There are two versions of the vaccine PPSV23 and PCV13. Your health status and any underlying conditions determine which version you need, the number of doses, and the timeline that you should receive those doses.
The pneumonia vaccines, PCV13 and PPSV23, prevent infections that can occur from 13 to 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria respectively the efficiency of these vaccines range from 45% to 75%. The pneumonia vaccines are really most relevant for folks who are either older adultswe typically think people more than the age of 50 to 65, or those who are immunosuppressed, Dr. Wolfe says.
Most likely, you will only get the pneumonia shot once in your adulthood or, depending on your longevity, once every five years. They’re obviously less frequent. It’s a good conversation I think people should have with their physician as it comes into September or October and things are starting to cool down, Dr. Wolfe says.
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
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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.
Why Is The Flu More Dangerous For Older Adults
The flu is more dangerous for older adults for a few reasons. One reason is that the immune system which helps your body fight infections weakens as you age. For example, because your body is busy fighting off the flu, you might pick up a second infection such as pneumonia. A second reason is that older adults are also more likely to have other health conditions, like diabetes, that increase their risk for complications from the flu.
The good news is the flu vaccination reduces your risk of getting the flu and of getting seriously ill if you do get sick with the flu. Flu vaccination is especially helpful for people with chronic health conditions. For example, it has been linked to lower rates of heart problems among people with heart disease and fewer hospitalizations among people who have chronic lung disease or diabetes. Learn more about the benefits of flu vaccination.
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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.
What Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Do
Pneumonia is a serious condition that attacks the lungs, causing coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing. It often requires hospitalisation, and can be life-threatening especially for the elderly or for people with weakened immune systems.
Pneumonia can be caused by viruses and fungi, but its usually caused by a bacterial infection. This is why both types of the pneumonia vaccine work by generating antibodies to kill pneumococcal bacteria. Once youve had the vaccine, your body will be able to use these antibodies to quickly fight off the bacteria strains that cause pneumonia.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pneumococcal Vaccines
Who is the pneumococcal vaccine for?
Adults at risk of pneumococcal disease infection include those with chronic underlying conditions like asthma. If you have asthma, pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for you.
Pneumococcal vaccination is also recommended for children with asthma. Pneumocccal vaccination is a part of routine immunizations of infants and children.
In Canada, pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for:
- routine immunization of infants and children
- immunization of children who missed pneumococcal immunization on the routine schedule
- immunization of people at high risk of pneumococal disease due to underlying medical conditions. High risk conditions include chronic lung disease, including asthma requiring medical care in the preceding 12 months
- immunization of residents of long-term care facilities
- immunization of adults who are at high risk of IPD due to lifestyle factors: smokers, persons with alcoholism, persons who are homeless
- immunization of all adults 65 years of age and older
What are the benefits of getting vaccinated?
Getting a pneumococcal vaccine is the best way to avoid getting pneumococcal disease. If you do get pneumococcal disease, pneumococcal vaccines reduce the risk of serious complications.
Why is it so important for people with asthma to get the pneumococcal vaccine?
For people with asthma, pneumococcal disease can be especially serious. Research is still ongoing as to why they are more at risk.