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.
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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.
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This Infectious Disease Can Pose A Serious Health Risk For Those Age 65 And Older But Two Vaccines Can Offer Sound Protection
One of the leading health dangers for older adults is pneumonia. It is the most common cause of hospital admissions after childbirth. In fact, adults age 65 and older have a higher risk of death from pneumonia hospitalization than any other reason.
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs by bacteria, viruses, or other microbes. Most cases are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci, and Legionella pneumophila. A similar inflammation of the lung, called pneumonitis, can be caused by an inhaled chemical and is more common in people who have had strokes and have difficulty swallowing. A physical exam, chest x-ray, and blood test can confirm a diagnosis.
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Tetanus Diphtheria And Pertussis Vaccination
Tetanus is a disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. These bacteria secrete a neurotoxin that causes painful and intense muscular spasms which are often life-threatening. Most people know that you can develop tetanus if you have a wound that is deep or contaminated with soil , but tetanus infection can also follow an injury that seems trivial or is not even noticed.
Diphtheria is another serious disease, which at one time caused more deaths in Australia than any other infectious disease. However, since vaccination became widespread in the mid 20th century it is rarely seen. Diphtheria is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which infects the upper respiratory tract. A grey membrane may form in the throat and obstruct breathing. The bacteria also produce a toxin that may affect nerves and the heart.
Whooping cough is caused by infection with the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It causes a persistent, choking cough that can be life-threatening for young children and cause severe symptoms in adults. Whooping cough is very contagious and is still commonly seen in Australia, with outbreaks occurring every 3 to 4 years. Being immunised helps prevent infection and reduce the severity of disease. Immunity tends to wane after childhood immunisation, and even if youâve had whooping cough you can catch it again.
How Much Will It Cost
At this time, Prevnar 20s list price hasnt been announced. However, this vaccine will likely be common for older adults, and its expected that Medicare will cover the bill. Pneumococcal vaccines are a cost-free benefit of Medicare Part B, and people with original Medicare or Medicare Advantage can receive covered pneumococcal vaccines with specific providers.
If you have Medicaid, check with your state Medicaid agency to see which vaccines are offered. Many Medicaid plans pay for some vaccines, but specific coverage varies.
All Health Insurance Marketplace plans and many private plans cover pneumococcal vaccines when provided by an in-network provider, but costs can vary depending on the specific insurance plan.
For people without insurance or adequate coverage, financial assistance and coupon programs may be available. Check back with GoodRx to find more ways to save and make your vaccinations more affordable.
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Who Should Get Vaccinated Against It
Three vaccines are now available to help prevent pneumococcal disease. Before the FDA approval of Prevnar 20, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of two other pneumococcal vaccines and . You can read more about them here.
The CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children under 2 years old and all adults at least 65 years old. Although pneumococcal disease can affect people of all ages, younger children and older adults are most at risk.
Depending on vaccination history and the presence of certain medical conditions, other people may also need to receive pneumococcal vaccinations. If you arent sure of your pneumococcal vaccination history, speak to your healthcare provider.
Its Covered By Medicare
If you have medical coverage provided by the federal government or a Medicare plan from a private insurance company, both types of pneumococcal vaccines are covered. In fact, they are covered 100 percent when given at least 12 months apart. To learn more about how vaccines are covered by Medicare, check out this article.
I really encourage you to get your pneumococcal vaccine if you havent already. Its one of the best ways to protect yourself from serious infections after age 65, and itll help keep you healthy and doing what you love most.
And remember, if you have a private health plan you can always call your member services team with any questions about coverage.
Save time by asking for the pneumococcal vaccine at your next annual physical!
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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.
Who Should Not Have The Vaccine
The pneumococcal vaccine used between 1978 and 1983 protected against only 14 types of the pneumococcus. People who received this vaccine do not usually need to get another shot.
- If you think you have already been vaccinated for pneumococcal disease, let your doctor know.
- The polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine is not recommended for children under two years of age.
- You should not have the vaccine if you have a severe allergy to any component of the vaccine.
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Persons With Chronic Diseases
Refer to Immunization of Persons with Chronic Diseases in Part 3 for additional information about vaccination of people with chronic diseases.
Asplenia or hyposplenia
Hyposplenic or asplenic individuals should receive Pneu-C-13 vaccine and Pneu-P-23 vaccine, followed by a booster dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Refer to Table 3, Table 4 and Booster doses and re-immunization for additional information.
Chronic kidney disease and patients on dialysis
Individuals with chronic kidney disease should receive age appropriate pneumococcal vaccines. Children less than 18 years of age with chronic kidney failure or nephrotic syndrome, should receive Pneu-C-13 vaccine and Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Adults with chronic kidney failure should receive Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Adults with nephrotic syndrome should receive Pneu-C-13 and Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Due to the decreased immunogenicity and efficacy of Pneu-P-23 vaccine in children and adults with chronic kidney failure, 1 booster dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine is recommended. Refer to Table 3, Table 4 and Booster doses and re-immunization for additional information.
Chronic lung disease, including asthma
Chronic heart disease
Chronic liver disease
Endocrine and metabolic diseases
Non-malignant hematologic disorders
How Effective Is Each Vaccine
Vaccines help protect against disease, but no vaccine is 100% effective.
Studies show that at least one dose of Prevnar 13 protects 80% of babies from serious pneumococcal infections, 75% of adults age 65 and older from invasive pneumococcal disease , and 45% of adults age 65 and older from pneumococcal pneumonia.
Studies show that one dose of Pneumovax 23 protects 50% to 85% of healthy adults against invasive pneumococcal disease.
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Vaccines Recommended For Adults Age 65 And Older
Vaccines are an important step in protecting your health and the health of your family. Vaccines are particularly important for older adults. Risks to certain diseases are higher for this age group since it can be more difficult to fight off infections as your immune system naturally weakens as you get older.
These infections, such as flu, pneumonia, shingles, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and COVID-19, increase your risk for complications, which can lead to long-term illness and hospitalization.
There are five vaccines adults age 65 and older should consider to prevent certain diseases:
- Influenza vaccine
- Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccine
It Prevents Lots Of Serious Infections
Getting vaccinated is very effective at preventing pneumonia, an infection in the lungs that can be life-threatening. It can also protect you from meningitis, bloodstream infections and ear infections. As we age, our immune systems weaken and its harder to fight off infections. Thats why its so important that older adults get this vaccine.
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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.
Check the National Immunisation Program schedule and talk to your doctor or immunisation provider if you have not had all the recommended childhood vaccinations.
Tetanus Diphtheria And Pertussis
The tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine combined is recommended if you have not received a tetanus shot in the last 10 years or have only had the tetanus and diphtheria combined vaccine and not the Tdap in the past.
Tetanus is caused by a bacteria in soil, dirt and manure and can impair the nervous system. Diphtheria is caused by a bacteria that attaches to the lining of the respiratory system, which causes difficulty breathing and swallowing and can get into the bloodstream and damage the heart, kidneys and nerves. Pertussis can be a very serious disease, especially for vulnerable populations, such as infants, young children and older adults. Pertussis causes coughing fits due to the bacteria attaching to the lining of the upper respiratory system.
The vaccine is greater than 95 percent effective in preventing tetanus and diphtheria and 70 percent effective in preventing pertussis. You can get this vaccine from your health care provider.
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The 5 Vaccines Every Person Over Age 65 Should Consider
Vaccines are not just a childhood past time. They play an important role in protecting you in every phase of life. And they become particularly important during the elder years when risks to certain diseases climb higher.
For older patients in assisted living or those in larger, more populated care settings, vaccinations are even more important, as exposure risk to communicable diseases like COVID-19, the flu and pneumonia are higher.
Certain vaccines are proven to be safe and very effective in preventing several diseases that can have very serious implications for aging populations.
AdventHealth explains how five important vaccines can help keep people age 65 and older as healthy and vibrant as possible.
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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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.
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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Tetanus Diphtheria And Pertussis Vaccines
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are serious diseases that can lead to death.
- Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in soil, dust, and manure. It enters the body through cuts in the skin.
- Diphtheria, also caused by bacteria, is a serious illness that can affect the tonsils, throat, nose, or skin. It can spread from person to person.
- Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is caused by bacteria. It is a serious illness that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It can spread from person to person.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Most people get vaccinated as children, but you also need booster shots as you get older to stay best protected against these diseases. The CDC recommends that adults get a Tdap or Td booster shot every 10 years. Ask your doctor when you need your booster shot.
Immunization : Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine
Vaccines or needles are the best way to protect against some very serious infections. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization strongly recommends routine immunization.
This vaccine protects adults and children two years of age and older against pneumococcal infections like pneumonia. This type of vaccine is only effective in people two years of age and older, and should not be given to children under two years of age. A different type of pneumococcal vaccine is effective in children under two years of age. This fact sheet refers to the “polysaccharide” vaccine only.
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Pneumonia Vaccine May Affect Course Of Covid
Kaiser Permanente research finds older adults vaccinated with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine received some protection against COVID-19.
PASADENA, Calif. A Kaiser Permanente study showed that one type of pneumonia vaccine, the PCV13 vaccine, may affect the course of COVID-19 for some older adult patients. The study was published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Kaiser Permanente members who received the PCV13 vaccine appeared to be diagnosed with COVID-19 less often, and when they were, they seemed to have less severe outcomes, overall, said the senior author, Sara Y. Tartof, PhD, MPH, a scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. One of the most interesting aspects of our findings was that the patients who received PCV13 received some protection against COVID-19, while those who received PPSV23, another pneumococcal vaccine, did not.
When the virus that causes COVID-19 infects a new person, it encounters a diverse array of viral and bacterial species that naturally reside in the human upper airway. One of these species is a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, which is commonly carried by children as well as adults. While typically harmless, this bacterium is well known for causing pneumonia and other diseases, often in interaction with viruses.
Among adults ages 65 years old and older, those who received the pneumonia vaccine PCV13 had: