Pneumococcal Diseases & Pneumonia Shots
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
The Importance Of Getting Both Vaccines
Andrew Pavia, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah Health and a spokesperson at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, tells Verywell that with flu season on its way and about 90 million Americans still unvaccinated against COVID-19, the new guidance is important because it can increase the chance that someone coming in for one of the vaccines who also needs the other, will get it.
Infectious disease experts like Pavia worry that the few flu cases that were reported last yearlikely because of the lockdown, which meant all offices and schools were closedmight lead people to believe that they do not need flu shots for the 2021-2022 season. Thats far from the case, however.
We just dont know what the flu season will be like this year, says Pavia. And you could be risking severe illness or death, especially if you get COVID-19 at the same time, so we really need people to get both vaccines.
Consider Timing For Coadministration
Flu vaccinations should be offered by the end of October. And for children who need two doses, they should receive their first dose as soon as possible after the vaccine is available because they cant have the second dose until at least four weeks later. The timing of the onset and peak of influenza activity varies from season to season. Within a particular season, this can also vary geographically with localized pockets of activity in some portions of the country are seen before others in any given season.
Over 36 seasons between 1982 and 2018, peak flu activity varied widely. It happened in December and March in 19% of seasons, while it occurred in February in 42% of the seasons. Vaccination should continue throughout the season, as long as influenza viruses are circulating and unexpired vaccine is available.
The AMA has developed frequently-asked-questions documents on COVID-19 vaccination covering safety, allocation and distribution, administration and more. There are two FAQs, one designed to answer patients questions , and another to address physicians COVID-19 vaccine questions .
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Can You Get Multiple Vaccines At Once
The technical term for getting multiple vaccines together is vaccine coadministration. And the answer to whether this is a good idea depends largely on your age and health status, the vaccines youre considering, how urgent the need is to start building up protection against said threat or threats, and personal preferences, experts say.
As a general rule, there are very few vaccines that cant be coadministered, says L.J. Tan, MS, PhD, the chief policy and partnership officer at the Immunization Action Coalition in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Vaccines commonly administered together include DTaP and Tdap, which protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis , and MMR, which prevents measles, mumps, and rubella.
When vaccines are coadministered, they should go in different locations or anatomical sites, according to Dr. Tan. It can be in the same arm if they are spaced an inch apart, he says. This allows your doctor or pharmacist to identify which vaccine caused a reaction, should one occur.
Here, experts break down which vaccines can be given at the same time and which ones cant. Plus, find out why you still need to wear a mask indoors if youre vaccinated.
Route Site And Needle Size
Administer pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine intramuscularly or subcutaneously. Administer pneumococcal conjugate vaccine intramuscularly. The preferred site for infants and young children is the vastus lateralis muscle in the anterolateral thigh. The preferred injection site in older children and adults is the deltoid muscle. Use a needle length appropriate for the age and size of the person receiving the vaccine.
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Three Shots At Once What About Four
The CDC doesn’t place limits on the number of vaccinations you can get at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine dose. So you can get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine on the same day, or you can get a COVID-19 shot, a flu shot and any other vaccine such as measles, pneumonia or shingles during the same visit.
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If you’re due for a shot that’s not time-sensitive the way the COVID-19 and influenza shots are, Mishori says she sometimes recommends that patients space them out, especially if the other vaccine is known for its side effects, like the shingles vaccine is.
“I tell my patients, You don’t want to get the shingles and COVID vaccine at the same time because you’re going to feel really, really miserable, she says. Shingles vaccine side effects may include fatigue, headache, muscle pain and nausea.
However, Mishori says convenience is a big consideration. I’ll ask, How disruptive is it going to be for your life? Can you get time off if you work to come back in? If not, go ahead and get it today.’
Michelle Crouch is a contributing writer who has covered health and personal finance for some of the nation’s top consumer publications. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Prevention, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Also of Interest
What Side Effects Should I Look Out For
Side effects vary from vaccine to vaccine, according to Privor-Dumm.
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services website Vaccine.org, common issues include:
- Soreness at the injection site
- A low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
In very rare cases, you may be allergic to the ingredients in a vaccine or have another severe reaction. If you feel sick in any way after receiving a shot, call your doctor, Privor-Dumm says.
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Mixing And Matching Covid
This is different from getting multiple vaccines in the same sitting. If you are in a location and can get your third shot or COVID-19 booster, and the type you received for your first two shots in the series is not available, its reasonable to receive the other type as a booster, Dr. Sobhanie says.
This only applies to the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, however.
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
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Signs Of A More Serious Reaction
“A very small percentage of people can have a true allergic reaction to the vaccine, including chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, facial or throat swelling and redness of the eyes,” Teague says. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Teague says severe allergic reactions usually happen within a few hours of getting the flu shot.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction, according to the CDC, can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- A fast heartbeat or dizziness
Another possible reaction is an infection where the shot was administered. “Patients can also develop an infection at the injection site, which is manifested as worsening redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness,” Teague says. You should also seek immediate medical attention for this type of reaction.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Flu Shots For Older Adults
Some older adults may have a weaker immune response to flu vaccines. This can make them more likely to get sick with flu or flu complications even when vaccinated.
Two vaccines are designed to create a stronger immune response in people who are 65 or older
- The high-dose flu vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen as the regular flu shot.
- The adjuvanted flu vaccine contains an additive that can create a stronger immune response to vaccination.
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Cdcs Recommended Childhood Vaccine Schedule Ensures Children Get The Best Protection During The Many Different Stages In Growth And Development
From the moment babies are born, they are exposed to numerous bacteria and viruses on a daily basis. Eating food introduces new bacteria into the body numerous bacteria live in the mouth and nose and an infant places his or her hands or other objects in his or her mouth hundreds of times every hour, exposing the immune system to still more germs. When a child has a cold, he or she is exposed to up to 10 antigens, and exposure to strep throat is about 25 to 50 antigens. Each vaccine in the childhood vaccination schedule has between 1-69 antigens. A child who receives all the recommended vaccines in the 2018 childhood immunization schedule may be exposed to up to 320 antigens through vaccination by the age of 2.
In fact, a 1994 report from the Institute of Medicine, Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccinesexternal icon, states: In the face of these normal events, it seems unlikely that the number of separate antigens contained in childhood vaccines would represent an appreciable added burden on the immune system that would be immunosuppressive.
Hospital Acquired Infections And Mrsa
When you are going through cancer treatment, itâs also helpful to be aware of hospital-acquired infections. Check out these tips for preventing hospital-acquired infections to avoid being one of the 1.7 million Americans who are affected by these infections each year. And if youâre scratching your head wondering why youâve been asked a dozen times if you have MRSA, learn about what a MRSA infection really is.
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Different Childhood Vaccines Can Be Given At The Same Time
Many vaccines are recommended early in life to protect young children from dangerous infectious diseases. In order to reduce the number of shots a child receives in a doctors visit, some vaccines are offered as combination vaccines. A combination vaccine is two or more different vaccines that have been combined into a single shot. Combination vaccines have been in use in the United States since the mid-1940s. Examples of combination vaccines are: DTap , trivalent IPV , MMR , DTap-Hib, and Hib-Hep B.
Often, more than one shot will be given during the same doctors visit, usually in separate limbs . For example, a baby might get DTaP in one arm or leg and IPV in another arm or leg during the same visit.
Are There Special Precautions That People With Cancer Should Take
People with cancer, people who are in active cancer treatment, older patients, and people with other serious chronic medical conditions, such as lung disease, diabetes, or heart disease, are at higher risk for the more severe form of COVID-19 that could lead to death. Studies have shown that people with active or progressing cancer may be at higher risk than those whose cancer is in remission. The same rules apply for people with cancer as for those without cancer: Be sure to wash your hands well. Avoid touching your face, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
People who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 should think carefully about non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if the travel will involve areas with high or increasing rates of COVID-19. This is especially important for people who have not yet been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not vaccinated, stay at home to reduce your exposure to the virus, practice physical distancing, and avoid social gatherings, including smaller gatherings with family or friends who donât live with you. Wear a face covering or mask, and make your trip out as brief as possible. If you have been vaccinated and live in an area with low COVID-19 transmission rates, you are able to return to normal activities. In places with high or increasing rates of COVID-19, masking is still important. Always follow local government guidelines for masking and social distancing.
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Can Other Medicines Lower Risk As Well
For people with moderately to severely weakened immune systems , the FDA has authorized a combination of the monoclonal antibodies tixagevimab and cilgavimab to help lower the risk of COVID-19 infection. These medicines can be used in people who do not have COVID-19 and who have not recently been exposed to the virus. Its important to note that they are meant to be given in addition to, not instead of getting the vaccine.
For more information, see Can other medicines lower the risk of COVID-19 infection? in Common Questions About the COVID-19 Outbreak.
If you are concerned about your risk of COVID-19 even after being fully vaccinated, its important to talk to your doctor about your immune status and if you should get additional doses of the vaccine, as well as what else you can do to help lower your risk of infection.
Flu And Pneumonia Shots
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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What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being Vaccinated
The benefits of vaccination generally far outweigh any risks, Privor-Dumm says. Although vaccines do have some side effects, most are mild and temporary.
The bigger con is getting disease, which may lead to further health complications, she adds. For instance, people who are hospitalized with influenza have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke following their illness, and the economic consequences of a serious illness can be catastrophic for some. Thats why its best to prevent disease in the first place.
Before Having Pneumococcal Vaccine
Before you are given pneumococcal vaccine, make sure your doctor knows:
- If you have been unwell recently, or if you have a high temperature .
- If you have previously had an allergic reaction to a vaccine or to any other medicine.
- If you have a condition that makes you bleed more than is normal, such as haemophilia.
- If you have a weakened immune system. This may be a result of an illness or taking medicines.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
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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.