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.
Where Can You Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
Once you know one of the pneumonia vaccines is right for you or your family, you may wonder where to get it. These vaccines are commonly available at medical offices and hospitals, so you might be able to get one where you see your healthcare provider. If they do not have it, many pharmacies, including CVS and Walgreens locations, have the vaccine. Your local health department is also a good resource and often gives vaccinations.
Do The Pneumonia Vaccines Work
The pneumococcal vaccines are very effective at preventing pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases in both adults and children. In one large study of over 84,000 adults aged 65 and older, those who received PCV13 were less likely to get pneumococcal pneumonia than were those who received a placebo shot. The vaccine protected about 45% of vaccinated people from getting pneumonia and about 75% from getting an invasive pneumococcal disease. Invasive pneumococcal disease is the most serious type and can be life-threatening.
PPSV23 is also effective and protects at least 50% of vaccinated, healthy adults from invasive pneumococcal infections.
In children, PCV13 has decreased the amount of invasive pneumococcal disease. According to the CDC, PCV13 prevented about 30,000 cases of invasive disease in the first 3 years it was available.
Getting the vaccine not only protects you from getting pneumonia and other types of pneumococcal disease, but also protects vulnerable people around you who cant get vaccinated.
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Which Pneumonia Vaccine Is Best
There is no best pneumonia vaccine. The two available pneumonia vaccines are different, and which one is best for you depends on how old you are and whether or not you have certain medical conditions.
The main difference between Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 is the number of pneumococcus strains the vaccine protects against.
PCV13 contains polysaccharides from 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria and is mainly given to young children.
PPSV23 contains polysaccharides from 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria and is mainly given to older adults.
Who Should Avoid Pneumococcal Vaccinations
Because of age or certain health conditions, some people should avoid or delay getting a pneumonia shot. This varies based on your situation and the type of vaccine.
When to Avoid or Delay Pneumococcal Vaccination
- Prevnar 13
- If you are allergic to any part of the vaccine.
- If you have had a life-threatening reaction to this vaccine in the past.
If you have a serious illness, you should talk with your doctor about whether its safe to get a pneumonia shot or whether you should wait.
Prepare for the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
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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.
Ohip Coverage After Age : Expanded Coverage For Seniors
Ontario is Canadas most populous province. The fastest growing segment of the population is those aged 65 and over. In fact, by 2041, its predicted seniors will make up one quarter of Ontarios population.
That translates to more than 4.5 million people.
As a group, older Ontarians have unique needs that future governments must address. Some of those questions revolve around residential care, such as nursing homes. Day programs and financial support are also concerns.
Older people are also more likely to encounter health issues. The growing senior population poses some challenges for Ontarios healthcare system.
Like all Ontarians, seniors in Ontario have coverage under the provincial plan. It’s known as OHIP, which is short for Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
Many people wonder what OHIP coverage after age 65 looks like. Many seniors have a fixed income and no employer-sponsored benefits.
Our guide reviews OHIP coverage for those over 65. Well also look at some of the recent changes in this area.
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Ohip Coverage After Age 65
Ontarians continue to be covered by the public healthcare system even after they turn 65. You might lose your employer-sponsored benefits when you retire from your job. The provinces insurance stays intact.
In fact, OHIP gets a little bit better for seniors. OHIP senior benefits include:
- Coverage for visits to the optometrist every two years
- Coverage for most prescription medications
The reasoning on providing expanded benefits to seniors is simple. As a group, senior Ontarians tend to have fixed incomes. When they retire, their income may fall as they draw on social assistance.
They may also lose employer-sponsored benefits. Their income may mean they cant afford supplementary health insurance.
They also tend to have higher healthcare costs. As people age, they have a higher risk of developing a chronic illness. Many seniors live with diabetes, arthritis, and other health conditions.
Older people also have a higher likelihood of developing an illness such as cancer.
Due to these facts, senior citizens may struggle to pay for necessary medications. Expanded senior OHIP coverage ensures more seniors can access the healthcare they need.
Can The Shots Cause Pneumonia Or Make You Sick
No. The pneumonia vaccines dont contain live bacteria, so they cant cause an infection. They wont cause pneumonia or other pneumococcal diseases. If you dont feel well after your vaccine, you should discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider to find out whether they are related to the vaccine or caused by another illness.
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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.
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
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Vaccination Helps Prevent Pneumonia
Pneumonia results in about 135,000 Canadian emergency hospital visits each year,* according to Torontos Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends everyone over 65 get a pneumonia shot, which can help prevent bacterial pneumonia, the most common type.* Thats especially important during a pandemic to reduce cases of both pneumonia and flu, which could strain the healthcare system and jeopardize care for anyone with a serious respiratory illness.
The pneumonia vaccine that protects against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria is recommended for older adults,* advises NACI and HealthLink BC. A second pneumonia vaccine that protects against 13 different strains* is also available for older adults at high risk of infection.
Talk to your doctor about which flu and pneumonia vaccines are right for you.
What You Can Do
OHIP provides basic coverage, which is better than nothing. For many Ontarians, OHIP senior coverage just isnt enough.
Before you turn 65, you should invest in supplemental healthcare insurance for yourself. This can help you deal with the loss of private benefits through an employer. It can also ensure you have the right coverage for your dependents when you receive expanded senior OHIP benefits.
Why should you buy supplemental insurance before you turn 65? Remember that insurance companies determine premiums by assessing risk. When you turn 65, theres a greater likelihood youll need to use this plan.
Your premiums will increase as a result. If you buy the plan before, you can lock in at a better rate than you might be offered otherwise.
You should look for a plan that offers good coverage for a reasonable price. Think about what your income is likely to look like after you retire as well. You want a plan that will be affordable for you on your retirement income.
A supplemental insurance plan may seem expensive up-front. In the long run, the right supplemental insurance can save you much more.
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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
What Does Shared Clinical Decision
- PCV13 is a safe and effective vaccine for older adults. The risk for PCV13-type disease among adults aged 65 years is much lower than it was before the pediatric program was implemented, as a result of indirect PCV13 effects . The remaining risk is a function of each individual patients risk of exposure to PCV13 serotypes and the influence of underlying medical conditions on the patients risk of developing pneumococcal disease if exposure occurs.
- The following adults aged 65 years are potentially at increased risk of exposure to PCV13 serotypes and might attain higher than average benefit from PCV13 vaccination, and providers/practices caring for many patients in these groups may consider regularly offering PCV13 to their patients aged 65 years who have not previously received PCV13:
- Persons residing in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
- Persons residing in settings with low pediatric PCV13 uptake
- Persons traveling to settings with no pediatric PCV13 program
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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.
Do You Need To Get Both Vaccines
Most people do not, but some may, depending on age and other health conditions.
All healthy children should get PCV13, and children with certain health conditions should also receive PPSV23. When both vaccines are needed, they are given 8 weeks apart, and PCV13 is given first.
Adults aged 65 and over
All adults aged 65 and older should get PPSV23. If you are a healthy adult over 65, you should talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need PCV13.
PCV13 used to be recommended for all adults over age 65, but the ACIP recently changed its recommendations. This is because, as more children have been vaccinated with PCV13, the types of pneumococci that this vaccine protects against are less likely to spread and infect older adults. PCV13 can still be given, and your healthcare provider can help you decide if it is right for you.
Adults younger than 65
For adults younger than 65, PPSV23 is recommended in certain situations. If you smoke or have a chronic illness, like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , or liver disease, you should get PPSV23 at a younger age. Adults with other conditions, like a weakened immune system, should have both vaccines before age 65.
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How Dispatchhealth Is Improving Healthcare
While pneumococcal vaccines can protect at-risk individuals from getting pneumonia and developing extreme complications from other respiratory infections, contraction can still happen. For seniors, in particular, pneumonia can be life threateningespecially in those with chronic conditions . Pneumonia can also occur post infection, developing after the flu or COVID-19making it important for at-risk adults to watch for symptoms.
If you do have symptoms, reach out to DispatchHealth for on-demand services that come to you. We provide an urgent healthcare alternative for those with chronic conditions and acute medical concerns, treating a variety of health complications in the comfort of the home. Our medical teams will come prepared with nearly all the tools and technologies found in a traditional ER setting, but without the disruptive or impersonal medical experience. Whats more, our streamlined service is compatible with most insurancesincluding Medicaid and Medicareand we offer an affordable flat rate for uninsured patients.
This flu season, you can count on DispatchHealth. We can also test for COVID-19 as well as treat and support COVID-19 patients. To request care, simply contact us via phone, mobile app, or through our website.
How Many Doses Of Pcv13 Can An Adult Get In A Lifetime Who/when
CDC recommends adults receive 1 dose of PCV13, if indicated and if they have not received PCV13 previously . In addition, adults age 65 or older who do not have an immunocompromising condition, cerebrospinal fluid leak, or cochlear implant can choose to receive PCV13 based on shared clinical decision-making. However, if an adult received a dose of PCV13 prior to turning 65 years of age , they should not receive a dose of PCV13 when they turn 65.
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How The Pneumococcal Vaccine Works
Both types of pneumococcal vaccine encourage your body to produce antibodies against pneumococcal bacteria.
Antibodies are proteins produced by the body to neutralise or destroy disease-carrying organisms and toxins.
They protect you from becoming ill if you’re infected with the bacteria.
More than 90 different strains of the pneumococcal bacterium have been identified, although most of these strains do not cause serious infections.
The childhood vaccine protects against 13 strains of the pneumococcal bacterium, while the adult vaccine protects against 23 strains.
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.
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Other Types Of Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumonia vaccines protect against pneumococcal infections in other parts of the body. These infections include:
What is it: An infection in the middle part of the ear.
Symptoms: Fever, ear pain, and decreased hearing
Who gets it: In the U.S., over 5 million children get it each year. Pneumococcus is a common cause of ear infections. It is found in up to 30% of samples of middle ear fluid.
What is it: A sinus infection, which is often first caused by a virus. Later, a bacterial infection can set in, causing worsening or ongoing symptoms.
Symptoms: Pain and pressure around the eyes and nose, fever, drainage, and congestion
Who gets it: Sinus infections are more common in adults than in children. Pneumococcus is a common cause and may contribute to up to 35% of sinus infections.
What is it: An infection of the leptomeninges, or the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be life-threatening, so getting immediate treatment is important.
Symptoms: Fever, confusion, headache, and neck stiffness
Who gets it: Pneumococcal meningitis usually occurs in very young children and older adults. In the U.S., pneumococcus is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children under age 5.
These infections can also be caused by other bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pneumococcus, the pneumococcal vaccines, is only one cause.