About Author: Ken Harris
Ken Harris is the proudest father and a writing coordinator for the Marketing & Communications division of OSF HealthCare.He has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a daily newspaper reporter for four years before leaving the field and eventually finding his way to OSF HealthCare.In his free time, Ken likes reading, fly fishing, hanging out with his dog and generally pestering his lovely, patient wife.
When To See A Doctor
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
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.
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Why Do You Need Booster Shots
The tetanus vaccine doesnt provide lifelong immunity. Protection begins to decrease after about 10 years, which is why doctors advise booster shots every decade.
A doctor may recommend children and adults get a booster shot earlier if theres a suspicion they may have been exposed to tetanus-causing spores.
For example, if you step on a rusty nail or have a deep cut thats been exposed to infected soil, your doctor may recommend a booster.
Some people shouldnt be vaccinated, including people who:
- had severe reactions to previous doses of the vaccine
- have Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological immune disorder
Whats The Difference Between Pcv13 And Ppsv23
|helps protect you against 13 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria||helps protect you against 23 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria|
|usually given four separate times to children under two||generally given once to anyone over 64|
|generally given only once to adults older than 64 or adults older than 19 if they have an immune condition||given to anyone over 19 who regularly smokes nicotine products like cigarettes or cigars|
- Both vaccines help prevent pneumococcal complications like bacteremia and meningitis.
- Youll need more than one pneumonia shot during your lifetime. A 2016 study found that, if youre over 64, receiving both the PCV13 shot and the PPSV23 shot provide the best protection against all the strains of bacteria that cause pneumonia.
- Dont get the shots too close together. Youll need to wait about a year in between each shot.
- Check with your doctor to make sure youre not allergic to any of the ingredients used to make these vaccines before getting either shot.
- a vaccine made with diphtheria toxoid
- another version of the shot called PCV7
- any previous injections of a pneumonia shot
- are allergic to any ingredients in the shot
- have had severe allergies to a PPSV23 shot in the past
- are very sick
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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.
Who Else Should Get The Pneumococcal Vaccination
For adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pneumococcal vaccination for:
Anyone 65 years of age and older
Adults with any of these health conditions:
Chronic illnesses such as lung, heart, liver or kidney disease asthma diabetes or alcoholism
Conditions that weaken the immune system cochlear implants or cerebro-spinal fluid leaks asplenia
Adults who smoke cigarettes
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Pneumococcal Vaccines Can Provide Important Protection For People Who Are Immunocompromised Because Of Inflammatory Conditions
As you make plans to get the flu shot this season, you should also talk to your doctor about whether you need another vaccine that protects against common respiratory infection: the pneumococcal vaccination.
While you may think of this as a vaccine for those ages 65 and older, thats too late to wait if you have a form of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis , lupus, psoriatic arthritis , or axial spondyloarthritis .
Living with an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis makes you vulnerable to serious infection and increases your risk of pneumonia, says Justin Owensby, PharmD, PhD, a research pharmacist in the division of clinical immunology and rheumology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham . It is especially important to get vaccinated against infectious diseases. Vaccines strengthen your immune response and protect your health and the health of those around you.
Unfortunately, many people with inflammatory arthritis dont get the pneumonia vaccine as part of their routine care. According to a recent study of rheumatoid arthritis patients, for example, a mere 10 percent of people treated in rural areas met the recommendation from theAmerican College of Rheumatology and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for getting the pneumococcal vaccine.
Heres more information about how and when to get your pneumonia vaccine safely this year.
How Do You Prevent Tetanus
Cleaning wounds we get outside plays a huge role in tetanus infections. Washing hands, cleaning cuts, and seeking medical attention for serious injuries goes a long way in preventing tetanus. Timing is also important try to get medical attention as soon as you can after potential exposure.
However, the best way to prevent tetanus is by getting vaccinated. Tetanus vaccines are safe and effective. But in order for them to work best, you need to stay up to date with booster shots. There are a few different tetanus shots available. Lets discuss the two used for adults: Tdap and Td.
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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.
Pneumonia Vaccine: How Often Should You Get It
In the U.S., pneumococcal disease is responsible for killing thousands of people each year and about 18,000 of these are people older than 65. Thousands of adults have to stay in the hospital for proper treatment because the disease can cause several complications, including infections of the lining of the spinal cord and brain, bloodstream, and lungs. To ensure you do not have to deal with these complications, it is important to receive vaccinations for pneumococcal disease. The vaccine you receive contains the bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae that helps build immunity against bacterial pneumonia. While the vaccine definitely helps, you need to know when to get pneumonia vaccine. How often should you get the vaccine is anther question people ask. Here is the answer.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumococcal Disease
Symptoms are not the same for everyone. They can be different from person to person. They can appear very suddenly and without warning. Depending on whether the infection causes pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis, you may have some combination of the following:
- Abrupt onset of fever
- Stiff neck
If you develop any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical help. Call 911 or go to the emergency room
Immunocompromised People Should Get A Fourth Shot
The CDC recommends that moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals who received a two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine get an additional primary vaccine dose at least 28 days after completing the second shot.
In addition to three primary doses, they should also receive a single booster shot three months after completing that third dose.
Some people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a three-dose primary series and a booster dose because many of these individuals do not respond well to two or even three COVID-19 vaccine doses, and are thus less protected against variants such as Omicron, Moss said.
The mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are preferred, Kantor said. This goes for everyone, which includes immunocompromised individuals and the general population.
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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.
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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Who Should Get Vaccinated This Fall
Really, everyone over 6 months old should get the flu shot, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although you can still get the flu even after youve been vaccinated knowing youve had it will likely help your healthcare team diagnose you if you develop symptoms that may be shared by COVID-19 and flu, such as:
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.
Types Of Pneumonia Vaccine
The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine also known as Prevenar 13 offers protection against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. This type is given to young children as part of their routine NHS vaccinations. Its also available for adults under 65 through our vaccination service.
The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine also known as Pneumovax 23 offers protection against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. This type is given to adults over 65 and anyone with a very high risk of pneumonia.
Everything You Need To Know About The Pneumonia Vaccine
During the winter months, many people think that they have a nasty cold or flu, but it turns out to be pneumonia an illness that can be life threatening in certain people. A vaccine can help lower your chance of contracting pneumonia. While the pneumonia vaccine does not prevent all cases of pneumonia, it reduces the severity of the disease.
That is especially important for older adults and if you have certain medical conditions that put you at greater risk for complications.
Now is the time to talk to your doctor about your risks and if you need a vaccine to protect you against pneumonia.
Niharika Juwarkar, MD, Internal Medicine with Firelands Physician Group, answers your most frequently asked questions about pneumonia and the risks.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory lung infection that is often mistaken for the flu. Your lungs become filled with fluid or pus that results in inflammation. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, but pneumonia can last for weeks and result in very serious complications.
While pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, most cases are due to a specific bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae, more commonly known as pneumococcal pneumonia. This form can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor can test to see what form of pneumonia you have. Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have and the severity of your symptoms. But, the best defense is vaccination.
Who is most at risk for pneumonia?
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How Arthritis Medications May Impact The Effectiveness Of The Pneumonia Vaccine
Pneumococcal vaccines are inactivated and generally considered safe for people with inflammatory arthritis who are on immunosuppressive medications, says Dr. Lieber.
A study published in the journal Rheumatology found that conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs medications such as methotrexate that are taken to reduce disease activity can blunt the effects of both the PCV13 and PCV23 vaccines.
In other words, people who are taking these medications who get both vaccines may not have as much protection as those who are not taking immunosuppressing drugs.
People with inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis have been shown to be able to develop protective antibodies after pneumococcal vaccination, says Dr. Lieber. However, since some immunosuppressive medications may be associated with dampened immune response to vaccines, your doctor may consider the timing of pneumococcal vaccination relative to your immunosuppressive regimen to maximize immune response.
If possible, the ideal time to get vaccinated is before starting an immunosuppressant medication. If youre already on one and have not been received the pneumococcal vaccines, youll need to weigh the decision of whether to temporarily hold your medication with your rheumatologist.
As with the flu shot, you wont get protection from the pneumonia vaccine for at least a few weeks after you receive it. And its still possible to get pneumonia after receiving the vaccine.
In People Who Are Pregnant
The Tdap vaccination is recommended for anyone who is pregnant. This shot gives your unborn baby a head start on protection against pertussis .
If you didnt get the Td or Tdap shot in the last 10 years, the shot may provide your unborn baby with protection from tetanus. It also reduces your risk of diphtheria. These conditions can be deadly to newborns.
The Tdap vaccine is safe during pregnancy.
For optimal immunity, the CDC generally recommends receiving the shot between , but its safe to receive at any point in your pregnancy.
If you dont know if youve been vaccinated, you may need a series of shots.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
The faster you get treatment, the faster you will get over pneumonia. This is especially true for the very young, for people older than 65, and for anyone with other long-lasting health problems, such as asthma.
911 or other emergency services immediately if you:
- Have chest pain that is crushing or squeezing, is increasing in intensity, or occurs with any other symptoms of a heart attack.
- Have such bad trouble breathing that you are worried you will not have the strength or ability to keep breathing.
- Cough up large amounts of blood.
- Feel that you may faint when you sit up or stand.
if you have:
- A cough that produces blood-tinged or rust-coloured mucus from the lungs.
- A fever with shaking chills.
- Difficult, shallow, fast breathing with shortness of breath or wheezing.
- Frequently brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs and lasts longer than 2 days. Do not confuse mucus from your lungs with mucus running down the back of your throat from your nasal passages . Post-nasal drainage is not a worry.
- Occurs with a fever of 38.3Â°C or higher and brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs .
- Causes you to vomit a lot.
- Continues longer than 4 weeks.
Also call your doctor if you have new chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing and if you have other symptoms of pneumonia, such as shortness of breath, cough, and fever.