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.
Who Should Get Pneumococcal Vaccines
CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years old and all adults 65 years or older. In certain situations, older children and other adults should also get pneumococcal vaccines. Below is more information about who should and should not get each type of pneumococcal vaccine.
Talk to your or your childs doctor about what is best for your specific situation.
Do I Need To Pay For Pneumococcal Immunisation
Vaccines covered by the National Immunisation Program are free for people who are eligible. See the NIP Schedule to find out which vaccines you or your family are eligible to receive.
Eligible people get the vaccine for free, but your health care provider may charge a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment.
If you are not eligible for free vaccine, you may need to pay for it. The cost depends on the type of vaccine, the formula and where you buy it from. Your immunisation provider can give you more information.
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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.
Are Both Pneumococcal Vaccines Safe
Both vaccines are safe. As with any medicine there is always the possibility of a serious problem, such as an allergic reaction. But with PCV and PPSV , the risk of serious harm or death is extremely small.
In studies involving nearly 60,000 doses of the PCV vaccine, there have been no moderate or severe reactions. The mild side effects included:
- Redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot is given in about one out of every four infants
- Fever higher than 100.4 F in about one out of every three infants
- Fever higher than 102.2 F in about one out of every 50 children
- Occasional incidence of fussiness, drowsiness, or loss of appetite
About one out of every two adults who receive the PPSV vaccine experiences redness or pain where the shot is given. Less than 1% have a more severe reaction, such as a fever or muscle aches.
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What Is Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus. People can be infected with the bacteria, or they can carry it in their throat, and not be ill. Those carriers can still spread it, primarily in droplets from their nose or mouth when they breathe, cough, or sneeze.
Depending on what organ or part of the body is infected, pneumococcal disease will cause any of several serious illnesses, including:
- Bacterial meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord that can lead to confusion, coma, and death as well as other physical effects, such as blindness or paralysis
- Pneumonia, an infection of the lungs that creates cough, fever, and difficulty breathing
- Otitis media, a middle ear infection that can cause pain, swelling, sleeplessness, fever, and irritability
- Bacteremia, a dangerous infection of the blood stream
- Sinus infections
There are more than 6,000 deaths each year in the U.S. as a result of pneumococcal disease. More than half of those deaths are in adults who, according to CDC recommendations, should have been vaccinated.
In children under age 5, infection with the pneumococcus bacteria results in approximately 480 cases of meningitis and 4,000 cases of bacteremia or other invasive infection per year. A major problem in very young children is that the classic symptoms of meningitis and pneumonia are often not present, making the disease hard to recognize.
Who Should Get The Vaccine
People over age 65. As you age, your immune system doesnât work as well as it once did. Youâre more likely to have trouble fighting off a pneumonia infection. All adults over age 65 should get the vaccine.
Those with weakened immune systems. Many diseases can cause your immune system to weaken, so itâs less able to fight off bugs like pneumonia.
If you have heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, or COPD , youâre more likely to have a weakened immune system, which makes you more likely to get pneumonia.
The same goes for people who receive chemotherapy, people who have had organ transplants, and people with HIV or AIDS.
People who smoke. If youâve smoked for a long time, you could have damage to the small hairs that line the insides of your lungs and help filter out germs. When theyâre damaged, they arenât as good at stopping those bad germs.
Heavy drinkers. If you drink too much alcohol, you may have a weakened immune system. Your white blood cells donât work as well as they do for people with a healthy immune system.
People getting over surgery or a severe illness. If you were in the hospital ICU and needed help breathing with a ventilator, youâre at risk of getting pneumonia. The same is true if youâve just had major surgery or if youâre healing from a serious injury. When your immune system is weak because of illness or injury or because itâs helping you get better from surgery, you canât fight off germs as well as you normally can.
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A Look At Each Vaccine: Pneumococcal Vaccine
Much like Haemophilus influenzae type b , pneumococcal bacteria affect the most defenseless of the population . The diseases caused by pneumococcus include meningitis , bloodstream infections and pneumonia . The pneumococcal vaccine was first introduced for use in all infants in the United States in 2000. Before the vaccine, every year pneumococcus caused about 700 cases of meningitis, 17,000 cases of bloodstream infections, 200 deaths and 5 million ear infections in children.
Infants and young children are at greatest risk of serious infection because they are unable to develop immunity to the sugar that coats the bacteria, something that older children can do when they are more than 2 years of age.
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.
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Common And Local Adverse Events
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
Studies of Pneu-C-13 vaccine indicated that irritability decreased appetite increased or decreased sleep and pain, swelling and redness at the injection site after the toddler dose and in older children, are common side effects. Low grade fever occurred in 20% to 30% or more of vaccine recipients. In adults over 50 years of age, the most commonly reported side effects included pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and new onset of myalgia, with fever above 38Â°C occurring in approximately 3% of vaccine recipients.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine
Reactions to Pneu-P-23 vaccine are usually mild. Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site occur in 30% to 60% of vaccine recipients and more commonly follow SC administration than IM administration. Occasionally, low grade fever may occur. Re-immunization of healthy adults less than 2 years after the initial dose is associated with increased injection site and systemic reactions. Studies have suggested that re-vaccination after an interval of at least 4 years is not associated with an increased incidence of adverse side effects. However, severe injection site reactions, including reports of injection site cellulitis and peripheral edema in the injected extremity, have been documented rarely with Pneu-P-23 vaccine in post-marketing surveillance, even with the first dose. Multiple re-vaccinations are not recommended refer to Booster doses and re-immunization.
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.
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Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Given At 2 Months 4 Months And 12 Months
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine protects children against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis .
What is invasive pneumococcal disease ?
IPD is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae . This type of bacteria can cause any of the following:
Pneumococcal infection is also a frequent cause of ear infections .
Pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis can sometimes cause death or long lasting complications such as deafness, especially in people with a high-risk medical condition.
Sometimes antibiotics do not work against the pneumococcal infection . Antibiotic resistance occurs when drugs, used to treat the infection, are no longer effective in killing or stopping the growth of particular microorganisms, such as pneumococcal bacteria. When there is antibiotic resistance, it is more difficult to treat the infection.
Tetanus Diphtheria And Pertussis Vaccine
Tdap is a three-in-one vaccine. It protects people against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Immunization against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis is required by law for all children attending school in Ontario, unless exempted.
What is tetanus?
Tetanus or lockjaw is a serious disease that can happen if dirt with the tetanus germ gets into a cut in the skin. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. It does not spread from person to person. Tetanus causes cramping of the muscles in the neck, arms, leg and stomach, and painful convulsions which can be severe enough to break bones. Even with early treatment, tetanus kills two out of every 10 people who get it.
What is diphtheria?
Diphtheria is a serious disease of the nose, throat and skin. It causes sore throat, fever and chills. It can be complicated by breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills about one out of every 10 people who get the disease. It is most often passed to others through coughing and sneezing.
What is pertussis?
For more information talk to your health care provider, contact your local Public Health Unit or visit ontario.ca/vaccines.
Some immunizations are required for children to attend school in Ontario. Please see the school immunization checklist for more information.
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Get A Pneumonia Vaccine
Vaccines help prevent pneumonia by boosting your immunity against some of the common bacteria and viruses that cause illness. Taking all of the following vaccines can safeguard you against pneumonia:
Vaccines are incredibly safe and effective, but they can have side effects. Speak to a healthcare provider so you know what to expect with each vaccine.
Of note, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends infants younger than age 2 take four doses of the pneumonia shot at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and then a booster between 12 to 15 months and that all adults older than 65 be given pneumococcal vaccines.
How Important Is It For An Adult Over Age 65 To Get Vaccinated
It’s very important. If you are over age 65 or have an underlying medical condition that puts you at risk and have not had a pneumococcal vaccination, talk to your doctor and ask to schedule one. According to the National Foundation for Infectious Disease, bacteremia and meningitis caused by invasive pneumococcal disease is responsible for the highest rates of death among the elderly and patients who have underlying medical conditions.
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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Pcv And Ppsv Vaccines
Kids may have redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given. A child also might have a fever after getting the shot. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccines contain only a small piece of the germ and so cannot cause pneumococcal disease.
Shingles Vaccine For Older Adults
Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. If you had chickenpox, the virus is still in your body. The virus could become active again and cause shingles.
Shingles affects the nerves. Common symptoms include burning, shooting pain, tingling, and/or itching, as well as a rash with fluid-filled blisters. Even when the rash disappears, the pain can remain. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN.
The shingles vaccine is safe and it may keep you from getting shingles and PHN. Healthy adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, which is given in two doses.
You should get a shingles shot even if you have already had chickenpox, the chickenpox vaccine, or shingles, received Zostavax, or dont remember having had chickenpox. However, you should not get a vaccine if you currently have shingles, are sick or have a fever, have a weakened immune system, or have had an allergic reaction to Shingrix. Check with your doctor if you are not sure what to do.
You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies. Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.
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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.
What About The Pneumonia Vaccine
Prevnar 13 is a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine that protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Pneumovax 23 is a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine that protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Once vaccinated, most healthy adults develop protection to most or all of these types within two to three weeks.
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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.