Monday, September 26, 2022

Do You Need A Pneumonia Vaccine Every Year

Pneumococcal Diseases & Pneumonia Shots

ASK UNMC What is the new recommendation on pneumonia vaccines for older adults?

There is a category of diseases called pneumococcal disease, of which pneumonia is one of the most dangerousthe other most dangerous being meningitis. People with diabetes are about three times more likely to die with flu and pneumococcal diseases, yet most dont get a simple, safe pneumonia shot.

Symptoms of pneumonia include:

Cough that can produce mucus that is gray, yellow, or streaked with blood Chest pain

How Do The Pneumonia Vaccines Work

Like all vaccines, pneumococcal vaccines work by showing the immune system a version of the microbe, or a part of it, that is responsible for the infection. The pneumococcal vaccine contains part of the pneumococcus bacterias outer shell, made of molecules called polysaccharides. The immune system learns to recognize it, attack it, and defend the body against it, should it ever come into contact with the real bacteria.

The body does this by making antibodies against the shell of the pneumococcus bacteria. These antibodies stay in your bloodstream as part of your immune system. If you are exposed to pneumococci in the future, the antibodies recognize the bacterias shell and launch a targeted defense.

There are strains of pneumococcus, so the vaccines are made up of molecules from many of those strains.

How Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Work

There are currently two vaccines administered in the United States:

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine . This vaccine joins a protein which helps build immunity. Infants and very young children do not respond to polysaccharide antigens, but linkage to this protein enables the developing immune system to recognize and process polysaccharide antigens, leading to production of antibody. It helps protect against disease from13 types of Streptococcal pneumoniae capsular serotypes that are the most common cause of serious infection. Typically, children receive three doses and adults at high risk of severe pneumococcal infection receive one dose.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine . This vaccine looks like certain bacteria. This stimulates the body to build protection against the 23 serotypes of Streptococcal pneumonia contained in the vaccine. These 23 serotypes now represent at least 50% to 60% of pneumococcal disease isolates in adults. Most people receive a single dose, with one to two boosters recommended for some.
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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.

    How Dispatchhealth Is Improving Healthcare

    CDC Global Health

    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.

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    What Are The Pneumonia Vaccines

    There are two FDA-approved vaccines that protect against pneumonia:

    • 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV13

    • 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23

    These immunizations are called pneumonia vaccines because they prevent pneumonia, which is an infection in the lungs. They are also known as pneumococcal vaccines because they protect against a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus. Although there are many viruses, bacteria, and fungi that cause pneumonia, pneumococcus is the most common cause. Pneumococcus can also cause infections in other parts of the body.

    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.

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    Should You Get A Flu Shot

    In general, every person with diabetes needs a flu shot each year. Talk with your doctor about having a flu shot. Flu shots do not give 100% protection, but they do make it less likely for you to catch the flu for about six months.

    For extra safety, it’s a good idea for the people you live with or spend a lot of time with to get a flu shot, too. You are less likely to get the flu if the people around you don’t have it.

    The best time to get your flu shot is beginning in September. The shot takes about two weeks to take effect.

    If youre sick , ask if you should wait until you are healthy again before having your flu shot. And don’t get a flu shot if you are allergic to eggs.

    You are advised to continue to take the general precautions of preventing seasonal flu and other communicable illnesses and diseases:

    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash. If you dont have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

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    Of course, before seeking the pneumococcal vaccines, its important to first speak with your primary care physician and other providers in your healthcare network. Both vaccines are safe but can have side effects and should be avoided by individuals with allergic reactions to any of the components in the vaccine. Keep in mind, its recommended that you not receive both vaccines at the same time. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if both vaccinations are the right choice for your needs. If both vaccines are needed, PCV13 should be given prior to PPSV23. Its important to schedule a separate visitation at least one year after the professionally suggested PCV13 vaccination to receive a dose of the PPSV23 vaccine.

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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.

    What Is A Pneumococcal Vaccine

    Engineered to prevent the pneumococcal disease, the pneumococcal vaccine is an injection that helps restrain illnesses caused by pneumococcal bacteriawhich includes pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, bacteremia, and even meningitis. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines:

    • PCV13 protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria and pneumoniaeasy to remember because 13 is in the name!
    • PPSV23 protects against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteriaeasy to remember because 23 is in the name!

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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.

    These include:

    • babies
    • 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.

    When To See A Doctor

    Everything You Need to Know About Flu Season This Year

    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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    The Importance Of Receiving The Pneumococcal Vaccine

    Fact: Thousands of adults are killed by the pneumococcal disease every year in the United Statesespecially adults 65 or older, individuals with chronic health concerns, and those who are immunocompromised.

    Myth: Everyone knows that theres a vaccine available to prevent pneumococcal disease from wreaking havoc in compromised individuals.

    There are an exceptional number of adults unaware of the pneumococcal diseases dangers and the pneumococcal vaccines existence and benefits. To remove yourself from this statistic, here are the facts:

    How Much Does It Cost

    For adults over age 65 who have Medicare Part B, both pneumococcal vaccines are completely covered at no cost, as long as they are given a year apart.

    If you have private insurance or Medicaid, you should check with your individual plan to find out if the vaccines are covered. Usually, routinely recommended vaccinations, like the pneumococcal vaccines, are covered by insurance companies without any copays or coinsurance. This means you can often get the vaccines at little or no cost.

    If you need to pay out of pocket for the vaccines, you can review prices for PCV13 and PPSV23.

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    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.

    Flu And Pneumonia Shots

    Which vaccines do adults need?

    Having the flu can be dangerous for anyone. But it is extra risky for people with diabetes or other chronic health problems. Having diabetes means having more instances of high blood sugar than a person without diabetes. High blood sugar hinders your white blood cells ability to fight infections.

    Beyond people living with diabetes, flu is also extra risky for people with heart disease, smokers and those with chronic lung disease, people who have an impaired immune system , very young children, and people living in very close quarters, such as college dorms, military barracks, or nursing homes.

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    Tdap Vaccine And/or The Td Booster

    Who needs it: The Tdap vaccine came out in 2005, and along with protecting against tetanus and diphtheria, like the vaccine it replaced, it also includes new, additional protection against whooping cough, also known as pertussis. If you cant remember ever getting this shot, you probably need it. And doing so, says Katz, can also count for one of the Td boosters youre supposed to get every 10 years.

    How often: You get Tdap only once, and after that, you still need the Td booster every 10 years. Otherwise, your protection against tetanus and diphtheria will fade.

    Why you need it: Due to a rise in whooping cough cases in the U.S., you really do need to be vaccinated against it, even if youre over 65. In the first year after getting vaccinated, Tdap prevents the illness in about 7 out of 10 people who received the vaccine.

    Talk to your doctor if you: Have epilepsy or other nervous system problems, had severe swelling or pain after a previous dose of either vaccine, or have Guillain-Barré syndrome.

    Parting shot: This vaccine is especially crucial for people who have close contact with infants younger than 12 months of age including parents, grandparents, and child care providers.

    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.

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    What To Know About The Pneumococcal Vaccine

    Who needs it: The CDC recommends one pneumococcal vaccine for adults 19 to 64 with certain risk factors . If you work around chronically ill people say, in a hospital or nursing home you should get the vaccine, even if you’re healthy. People 65 and older can discuss with their health care provider whether they should get PCV13 if they haven’t previously received a dose. A dose of PPSV23 is recommended for those 65 and older, regardless of previous inoculations with pneumococcal vaccines.

    How often: Space immunizations out. You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine , then, a year later, a dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine . People with any of the risk factors should get one dose of PCV13 and PPSV23 before age 65, separated by eight weeks.

    Why you need it: Pneumococcal disease, which can cause pneumonia, kills around 3,000 people a year. Young children and those over 65 have the highest incidence of serious illness, and older adults are more likely to die from it.

    Editors note: This article was published on Oct. 26, 2020. It was updated in September 2021 with new information.

    Also of Interest

    Who Should Not Get The Vaccine

    Do I need the pneumonia 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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    Do You Need To Get Both Vaccines

    Most people do not, but some may, depending on age and other health conditions.

    Children

    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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