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Today, Dr Hilary Health Editor for both ITVs Good Morning Britain and Lorraine tells Emma Pietras why its no use taking antihistamines to beat the virus and what certain pre-existing conditions can mean for you in the current situation.
He also explains why we need to keep respecting social distancing.
Q. I have had the pneumonia vaccine. Does that give us any protection against Covid-19?
A. Im afraid it doesnt. It specifically protects against infection with a nasty bacteria called pneumococcus, which can cause a secondary bacterial chest infection in someone who has a viral pneumonia, but the vaccine does not protect against coronavirus itself.
Q. My family and I have been in isolation for 14 days as I had symptoms. My daughter and I are due to go back to work. If my daughter gets symptoms do we all have to isolate again?
A. Yes you do. If any of you develop the symptoms of a dry persistent cough or raised temperature the process starts again.
Once more testing becomes available to people in your position, we will know whether you need to self-isolate for sure or not. Until then its better to be on the safe side.
Q. Does taking antihistamines help fight the Covid-19 infection?
A. Antihistamines have nothing to offer in the fight against Covid-19. They have no antiviral action.
Q. Where can I buy the antibody test for Covid-19?
Q. I have a chest infection. Am I more likely to get the virus?
Will Pneumonia Shots Protect Against The Coronavirus
With a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus, many are wondering if shots to prevent pneumonia will be effective in fighting off COVID-19.
As coronavirus sweeps across the world, with over 179,073 recorded cases to date, many are wondering if shots to prevent pneumonia will be effective in fighting off COVID-19.
The question stems from the knowledge that coronavirus can cause respiratory infections. The symptoms range from mild — such as runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and fatigue — but in more severe cases can cause pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney failure and even death, according to the American Lung Association.
Dr. Robert Amler, formerly a medical epidemiologist and agency chief medical officer at CDC told Fox News on Monday that a pneumonia shot to prevent against this particular respiratory infection will not be effective in staving off pneumonia caused by coronavirus.
Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine, do not protect against coronavirus, which is a newly discovered virus with no vaccine or cure to date, according to the World Health Organization.
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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.
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Rotavirus Vaccine Significantly Reduced All Cause Diarrhea
Published in the journal Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific, the first study looked at Fiji’s national rotavirus vaccine programme five years after it became the first independent Pacific island country to introduce the vaccine in 2012. According to the researchers, rotavirus is severely contagious and the most common cause of diarrhoeal disease among infants and young children. It can even cause death in extreme cases. After taking the vaccine, morbidity and mortality due to rotavirus and all-cause diarrhoea in Fiji fell in those aged two months to 55 years. Rotavirus diarrhoea admissions at the largest hospital among children aged under five fell by 87 per cent. These reductions were most likely due to the vaccine as rotavirus diarrhoeal outbreaks remained blunted for the five years after vaccine introduction.
Avoid Exposure To People Who Are Ill
Most respiratory infections are spread through tiny particles in the air or on the surfaces we touch. Avoiding contact with people that you know are sick is an important step in preventing respiratory infections and possible pneumonia.
If youre in a crowded area or cant avoid being near people who are sick, be sure to:
- wash your hands frequently
- encourage others to cover their cough or sneeze
- avoid sharing personal items
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Pcv13 Vaccine Shows Protective Effects Against Covid
Prior research has pointed to the protective effects of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in viral and bacterial respiratory diseases. In a retrospective study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, PCV13 also showed protective effects against SARS-CoV-2 infections.
The study authors measured associations between PCV13 and COVID-19 outcomes, with or without 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine , using information from electronic health records of adults aged 65 and older. Between March 1 and July 22, 2020, there were 3677 COVID-19 diagnoses among 531,033 adults in the study cohort, with 1075 hospitalizations and 334 fatalities. PCV13 was given to 451,068 participants aged 65 or older and had comorbidities associated with pneumonia and COVID-19. These participants also did not receive PCV13.
The estimated adjusted hazard ratios for PCV13 recipients with COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization, and mortality were 0.65 , 0.68 , and 0.68 , respectively. Prior PPSV23 was not associated with a significant protective effect against these 3 outcomes. The association between PCV13 and COVID-19 lessened temporarily within 90 days of receiving antibiotics for pneumococcal viruses. From 90 to 365 days after antibiotics exposure, the adjusted odds ratio for COVID-19 diagnosis associated with PCV13 vaccination was 0.65 .
Summary Of Information Contained In This Naci Statement
The following highlights key information for immunization providers. Please refer to the remainder of the Statement for details.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is a bacterium that can cause many types of diseases including invasive pneumococcal disease , and community-acquired pneumonia .
For the prevention of diseases caused by S. pneumoniae in adults, two types of vaccines are available in Canada: pneumococcal 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine containing 23 pneumococcal serotypes and pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine containing 13 pneumococcal serotypes.
NACI has been tasked with providing a recommendation from a public health perspective on the use of pneumococcal vaccines in adults who are 65 years of age and older, following the implementation of routine childhood pneumococcal vaccine programs in Canada.
Information in this statement is intended for provinces and territories making decisions for publicly funded, routine, immunization programs for adults who are 65 years of age and older without risk factors increasing their risk of IPD. These recommendations supplement the recent NACI recommendations on this topic that were issued for individual-level decision making in 2016.
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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.
Q: Ive Heard That The Pneumonia Shot Will Help Protect Me Against Getting Sick From Coronavirus Is That True
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Often times, we see that influenza can lead to secondary infections with other types of bacteria that the pneumonia shot prevents. But because coronavirus is bad enough on its own, the pneumonia shot doesnt offer protection against it.
Still, its important for some people to get the pneumonia shot, regardless of COVID-19. The germs that cause pneumonia are still out there, they arent waiting on the sidelines for coronavirus to finish its job.
The pneumonia shot is recommended for the following groups:
- Allbabies and children younger than 2 years old.
- Alladults 65 years or older.
- Adults19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes.
- Childrenolder than 2 and adults younger than 65 who have certain chronic diseases.
- Thosewho are at increased risk for certain diseases and those who have impaired immune systems.
If you fall into one of these categories, talk to your doctor about getting the pneumonia shot to help protect you from getting really sick from other viruses. But when it comes down to it, the pneumonia shot doesnt offer protection specifically against coronavirus.
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Causes And Types Of Pneumonia
Viruses, bacteria, and fungi can all cause pneumonia. In the United States, common causes of viral pneumonia are influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus , and SARS-CoV-2 . A common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae . These bacteria can cause a wide range of infectionslike pneumoniaknown as pneumococcal disease.
There are several ways people can get sick with pneumonia:
- Community-acquired pneumonia ,
- Healthcare-associated pneumonia, and
Learn more about the causes of pneumonia.
How Pneumococcal Vaccination Protects Against Covid
Protection against serious COVID-19 disease by pneumococcal and Hib vaccines makes sense for several reasons. First, recent studies reveal that the majority of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and in some studies nearly all, are infected with streptococci, which causes pneumococcal pneumonias, Hib or other pneumonia-causing bacteria. Pneumococcal and Hib vaccinations should protect coronavirus patients from these infections and thus significantly cut the risk of serious pneumonia.
I also found that pneumococcal, Hib and possibly rubella vaccines may confer specific protection against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 by means of molecular mimicry.
Molecular mimicry occurs when the immune system thinks one microbe looks like another. In this case, proteins found in pneumococcal vaccines and, to a lesser degree, ones found in Hib and rubella vaccines as well look like several proteins produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Two of these proteins found in pneumococcal vaccines mimic the spike and membrane proteins that permit the virus to infect cells. This suggests pneumococcal vaccination may prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Two other mimics are the nucleoprotein and replicase that control virus replication. These proteins are made after viral infection, in which case pneumococcal vaccination may control, but not prevent, SARS-CoV-2 replication.
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Lower Your Risk By Getting Vaccinated
In the United States, vaccines can help prevent infection by some of the bacteria and viruses that can cause pneumonia:
These vaccines are safe, but side effects can occur. Most side effects are mild and go away on their own within a few days. See the vaccine information statements to learn more about common side effects. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines side effects.
Encourage friends and loved ones to make sure they are up to date with their vaccines.
World Pneumonia Dayexternal icon is observed each year on November 12th. Globally, pneumonia kills more than 670,000 children younger than 5 years old each year. This is greater than the number of deaths from any infectious disease, such as HIV infection, malaria, or tuberculosis.
Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates Correlate With Lower Covid
I gathered national and some local data on vaccination rates against influenza, polio, measles-mumps-rubella , diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis , tuberculosis , pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae type B . I correlated them with COVID-19 case rates and death rates for 24 nations that had experienced their COVID-19 outbreaks at about the same time. I controlled for factors such as percentage of the population who were obese, diabetic or elderly.
I found that only pneumococcal vaccines afforded statistically significant protection against COVID-19. Nations such as Spain, Italy, Belgium, Brazil, Peru and Chile that have the highest COVID-19 rates per million have the poorest pneumococcal vaccination rates among both infants and adults. Nations with the lowest rates of COVID-19 Japan, Korea, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand have the highest rates of pneumococcal vaccination among both infants and adults.
A recent preprint study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic has also reported very strong associations between pneumococcal vaccination and protection against COVID-19. This is especially true among minority patients who are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. The report also suggests that other vaccines, or combinations of vaccines, such as Hib and MMR may also provide protection.
Based on these data, I advocate universal pneumococcal and Hib vaccination among children, at-risk adults and all adults over 65 to prevent serious COVID-19 disease.
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Potential Side Effects Of The Pneumonia Vaccines
Both pneumonia vaccines may have some side effects. These may include:
- redness or swelling at the injection site
- muscle aches
Children should not get the pneumonia vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time. This may increase their risk of having fever-related seizures.
Although pneumonia itself isnt contagious, it can be caused by a variety of infectious organisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Washing your hands is the best way to avoid transferring these organisms into your respiratory system.
When washing your hands, be sure to clean them thoroughly using the following steps:
- Wet your hands with clean preferably running water.
- Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces of your hands and wrists.
- Lather and rub your hands together briskly and thoroughly. Make sure to scrub all surfaces of your hands, fingertips, fingernails, and wrists.
- Scrub your hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse your hands and wrists under clean preferably running water.
- Dry your hands and wrists with a clean towel, or let them air-dry.
- Use a towel to turn off the faucet.
If you dont have access to soap an water, you can also clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Does The Vaccine For Pneumonia Protect Against Coronavirus
The World Health Organisation clearly and categorically states that vaccines against pneumonia do not protect against the COVID-19 virus.
Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus, it says on their website.The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.
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Where Can I Find These Vaccines
Your doctors office is usually the best place to receive recommended vaccines for you or your child.
PCV13 is part of the routine childhood immunization schedule. Therefore, it is regularly available for children at:
- Pediatric and family practice offices
- Community health clinics
If your doctor does not have pneumococcal vaccines for adults, ask for a referral.
Pneumococcal vaccines may also be available for adults at:
- Health departments
- Other community locations, such as schools and religious centers
Federally funded health centers can also provide services if you do not have a regular source of health care. Locate one near youexternal icon. You can also contact your state health department to learn more about where to get pneumococcal vaccines in your community.
When receiving any vaccine, ask the provider to record the vaccine in the state or local registry, if available. This helps doctors at future encounters know what vaccines you or your child have already received.
Problems That Could Happen After Getting Any Injected Vaccine
- People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your doctor if you or your child:
- Feel dizzy
- Have vision changes
- Have ringing in the ears
What You Should Know About Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that typically stems from several kinds of germs, most often bacteria and viruses.
Symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. They include:
- Chest pain.
- Loss of appetite.
Early detection is often challenging because many people with these symptoms assume they have a cold or the flu.
Its important to also note that the vaccine helps protect against some but not all bacterial pneumonia.
There are dozens of different types of bacterial pneumonia, says Dr. Suri. The vaccine will certainly reduce your risk of the most common bacterial pneumonia.