What Types Of The Vaccine Are There
Like some other vaccines out there, there is more than one type of pneumococcal vaccine. The main varieties are known as PCV13 and PPSV23. PCV13 stands for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, while PPSV23 is stands for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. The numbers reflect the number of bacterial strains that the vaccine protects against: 13 and 23 respectively
Usually, it is suggested that children under 2 receive the PCV13 vaccine, while seniors receive the PPSV23 vaccine. However, your doctor will let you know which vaccine you need to take, as some people with certain conditions have different needs. Medical advice should be received only from your doctor.
What Vaccines Does Medicare Part B Cover
Medicare Part B generally covers vaccines for:
One flu shot per flu season. You pay generally nothing if the provider accepts assignment for giving the shot.
- Hepatitis B
People at medium to high risk for Hepatitis B are covered. People at low risk may not be covered. You generally pay nothing if the provider accepts assignment for giving the shot.
- Pneumococcal to prevent pneumonia
All people with Medicare Part B are covered. You generally pay nothing if your provider accepts assignment for giving the shot.
Do I Need The Shingles Vaccine And How Much Does It Cost
The CDC recommends adults 50 years and older should get two doses of the shingles vaccine. Shingles is a viral infection that can cause several symptoms, including:
Other serious symptoms
Two doses of Shingrix will protect you against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common shingles complication. PHN affects your nerve fibers and skin, leading to burning pain that persists after other symptoms of shingles, such as the rash and blisters, have gone away.
Studies suggest Shingrix was between 91% and 97% effective in preventing shingles after two shots, depending on your age. Since your risk of acquiring shingles and PHN increases as you get older, strong protection against shingles after 50 is important.
Most Medicare Part D cover the shingles shots, as well as Medicare Advantage plans with built-in Part D coverage. Depending on your plan, you may have to pay toward your deductible, a copay, or pay out-of-pocket and get reimbursed later.
If you havent met your plans deductible for the year, youll have to pay full price for the vaccines. If you have to pay upfront, the average retail cost of is about $200 per dose. You need two doses of Shingrix, 2 to 6 months apart.
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Do I Have To Pay For Vaccines With Medicare
You pay nothing for vaccines covered by Part B flu, pneumonia and Hepatitis B as long as your provider accepts Medicare.
Your cost for vaccines covered by Part D will depend on your specific plan. You may pay a copay or coinsurance, but it will depend on your plan and the provider.
The location where you get vaccinated may also affect your cost. For example, your costs may be lower if you get a vaccine at a pharmacy versus in a doctors office.
Does Medicare Cover The Shingles Vaccine
En español | Unlike some common vaccines, like those for the flu, hepatitis B and pneumonia, shingles shots are not covered under Medicare Part B, the component of original Medicare that includes doctor visits and outpatient services. Part A, which deals with hospital costs, doesnt cover shingles shots either.
Medicare coverage for Shingrix and Zostavax, the two commercially available shingles vaccines, is provided only if you are enrolled in a stand-alone Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D drug coverage.
Medicare requires Part D plans to cover the shingles vaccine, so if youre enrolled in Part D, you shouldnt have difficulty obtaining the shot. Most require a copayment, which can vary widely from plan to plan.
And if you havent yet met your plans deductible for the year, youll likely pay the full price. For Shingrix, the newer vaccine, that averages around $190, according to GoodRx, a website and app that tracks prescription prices.
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What Is Prevnar 13
Prevnar 13 is a vaccine that protects against pneumococcal disease.
Streptococcus pneumonia is a bacterium that can cause various infections, ranging from mild ear and sinus infections to dangerous pneumonia and bloodstream infections.
Many strains of these bacteria exist, and Prevnar 13 protects against 13 of the most common. The Pneumovax 23 vaccine protects against 12 of the same strains as Prevnar 13, plus 11 additional ones.
CDC data show that Prevnar 13 is effective in protecting people aged 65 years and over against pneumococcal disease.
Initially, in 2014, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended routine Prevnar 13 vaccination ahead of Pneumovax 23 vaccination a year later for those aged 65 years and over.
In 2019, the ACIP changed the recommendation to a single dose of Pneumovax 23 because the routine vaccination of children has caused a decline in the bacterial strains that commonly cause disease.
However, the ACIP recognized that some older people should still receive Prevnar 13, including those who:
- live in a nursing home or another long-term care facility
- have cochlear implants
- are immunocompromised and have never received a pneumonia vaccine
- have a cerebrospinal fluid leak
- visit areas where doctors do not routinely vaccinate children with Prevnar 13
Does Medicare Cover Pneumonia Shots For Seniors
Yes, Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage plans both cover the pneumococcal vaccines for those 65 years and older. Whether you need just one shot or both, Medicare fully covers the shots.
If youre eligible for Medicare, you automatically qualify for the PPSV23.
Also, Medicare will cover the PCV13 vaccine as long as they are given at least one year apart.
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
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Who Should Not 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. In addition, tell the person who is giving you or your child a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine if:
You or your child have had a life-threatening allergic reaction or have a severe allergy.
- Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any of the following should not get PCV13:
- A shot of this vaccine
- An earlier pneumococcal conjugate vaccine called PCV7
- 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.
How Do I Pay For My Pneumococcal Vaccine
There are several ways to cover the cost of pneumococcal vaccines:
MedicareMedicare Part B covers 100% of the cost for both pneumococcal vaccines .
MedicaidIdahos Medicaid agency will cover at least some adult immunizations, but may not offer all vaccines that are needed. Check with Idaho’s Medicaid agency for more information.
MilitaryIf you serve in the military or are a military dependent, you are eligible for TRICARE. TRICARE vaccines are covered according to the CDC recommended schedule.
Private Health InsuranceMost private health insurance plans cover pneumococcal vaccines. Check with your insurance provider for details on whether there is any cost to you and for a list of in-network vaccine providers.
No Insurance?If you do not currently have health insurance, visit to learn more about Idahos affordable health coverage options. You can also go to a federally funded health center or public health district office to find affordable vaccines near you.
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Where Can I Get Vaccines I Need
You can get most vaccines at a pharmacy, doctors office, clinic or community health center. Talk with your doctor about what vaccines you may need. Your doctor or Part D plan provider can also help you understand whether your cost will be affected by where you go to get the vaccines that your doctor recommends.
Indications For Tdap Vaccination
In addition to the standalone tetanus shot, it is also recommended that you get at least one Tdap booster as an adult, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis . It is also recommended during the third trimester of pregnancy.
However, the Tdap vaccine is currently not covered under the Part B benefit and may or may not be covered by your Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan. Check your plan’s formulary.
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Adults Aged 65 Years And Older
A randomized placebo-controlled trial of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine was conducted in about 84,500 adults aged 65 years and older, with no particular risk factors. Four years on average after vaccination, there was no reduction in either mortality or the overall incidence of community-acquired pneumonia. It was necessary to vaccinate about 1,000 individuals in order to prevent 1 case of vaccine-type pneumococcal pneumonia during the 4-year follow-up period .
In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for use of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine . PCV13 vaccination is no longer routinely recommended for all adults aged 65 years and older. Instead, shared clinical decision-making for PCV13 use is recommended for persons in this age group who do not have an immunocompromising condition, CSF leak, or cochlear implant and who have not previously received PCV13. If a decision to administer PCV13 is made, it should be administered before PPSV23. The recommended intervals between pneumococcal vaccines remain unchanged for adults without an immunocompromising condition, CSF leak, or cochlear implant . PCV13 and PPSV23 should not be co-administered. ACIP continues to recommend PCV13 in series with PPSV23 for adults aged 19 years with immunocompromising conditions, CSF leaks, or cochlear implants .
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 to recent 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
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What Vaccines Does Medicare Cover
Vaccines can become less effective over time. Even individuals fully vaccinated as children may need to update their immunizations. Medicare Parts B and D offer vaccination coverage.
Medicare Part B covers shots for the flu, hepatitis B, pneumococcal , and COVID-19. Medicare covers 100 percent of the cost of these vaccines if you go to an approved provider, and you do not have to pay a deductible or coinsurance. Medicare Advantage plans are also required to provide these vaccines at no additional costs.
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Medicare covers one flu shot per flu season, which runs from November to April, and not the calendar year. For example, if an individual gets a flu shot in January and again in November of the same year, Medicare would pay for both.
Medicare covers two different pneumonia shots. Medicare recipients can get the first shot at any time and it will cover the second shot if it’s administered at least one year after the first shot.
Hepatitis B shots are free for anyone considered medium or high risk for contracting the virus. End-stage renal disease and diabetes are two conditions that place individuals into a higher risk category. A medical professional can help determine an individuals risk level.
Keeping current on your vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent serious illness and disease. Talk with your doctor to determine what vaccines you need to minimize risks to your health.
Should Seniors Get Pneumonia Vaccine
Getting your pneumonia vaccine is important. According to the CDC, pneumonia causes more than 43,000 deaths each year in the US. Your immune system weakens with age and this can make you more vulnerable to infections like pneumonia.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is highly contagious and easily spread through air droplets from coughing, sneezing, or contact with surfaces with the bacteria. The PPSV23 vaccine is around 60% to 80% effective against severe pneumococcal disease in older adults. Even if youve had pneumonia in the past, you should still get vaccinated because there are many pneumococcal strains.
This is why CDC recommends everyone 65 years and older get vaccinated with the PPSV23 shot to prevent serious infection and complications.
Talk with your doctor to learn more about the benefits and risks of pneumococcal vaccines.
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What Exactly Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
The Pneumonia vaccine is more accurately referred to as a pneumococcal vaccine, which provides immunity for a variety of diseases. Pneumococcal vaccination protects from pneumonia, meningitis, and other related conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices notes that the vaccine should be taken by children under 2, as well as adults over 65 years of age. This last category notably includes most Medicare beneficiaries.
When To Get Your Shots
The best time to get your flu and pneumonia shots is any time after July 1 each year. This is because flu season typically begins in the fall. Peak months for the flu season in Michigan are November, December, January, February, March and April.
The flu spreads quickly during those peak months. So, getting vaccinated early is important, because it gives your body a chance to protect itself.
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Will Medicare Pay For Both Pneumonia Shots
Yes, Medicare pays for the two types of pneumococcal vaccines approved for use in the United States.
The vaccines offer protection from severe pneumococcal infections caused by common strains of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. But you should know pneumonia may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
Pneumococcal vaccines dont protect against every strain of bacteria that cause pneumococcal infections. There are over 90 types of pneumococcal strains.
- The Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects you from 13 different types of pneumococcal bacteria. It is an injection given into a muscle by a healthcare professional.
- The Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine offers protection against 23 different varieties of pneumococcal bacteria. The 11 extra strains covered by PPSV23 vaccine are responsible for around 32% to 37% of invasive pneumococcal disease in older adults. It is an injection given either under the skin or into a muscle by a healthcare professional.
Some people may benefit from both vaccines. If you and your doctor decide two pneumococcal vaccines are necessary, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you should get the PCV 13 vaccine first whenever possible. But if you already received a PPSV 23 shot, your PCV 13 shot should be given at least one year later.
Let your healthcare provider know if youre allergic to any part of the pneumococcal vaccines or ever had an allergic reaction to a vaccine.
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Medicare Part B: Vaccine Coverage
Medicare Part B provides preventive coverage only for certain vaccines. These include:
- Influenza: once per flu season
- Hepatitis B: for persons at intermediate- to high-risk
Administration services for these preventive vaccines are reported to Medicare using HCPCS codes as follows:
- G0008 administration of influenza virus vaccine
- G0009 administration of pneumococcal vaccine
- G0010 administration of Hepatitis B vaccine
The diagnosis code to report with these preventive vaccines is:
- Z23 Encounter for immunization
Other immunizations are covered under Medicare Part B only if they are directly related to the treatment of an injury or direct exposure Coverage of other vaccines provided as a preventive service may be covered under a patient’s Part D coverage.
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Vaccines Covered By Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers three important vaccines as part of its preventive care benefits.
Covered vaccines include the following:
- Flu vaccine: Annual vaccine given in one shot before or during flu season, usually November through April
- Pneumonia vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two shots at least one year apart
- Hepatitis B vaccine: One-time vaccine given in two to four shots over one to six months for people who are medium to high risk, including people with diabetes
Part B also covers vaccines you may need if youre exposed to a harmful virus or bacteria by accident. You might need a tetanus shot, for example, if you step on a rusty nail. Or you may need rabies shots if youre bitten by a stray dog.