Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How Often Should You Get A Pneumonia

Are You 65 Or Older Get Two Vaccinations Against Pneumonia

Ask the Expert: Who should get a Pneumococcal Vaccine?
  • 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.

Should I Get Prevnar 13 Or Pneumovax 23

ACIP now recommends that patients have a conversation with their doctor to decide whether to get Prevnar 13. However, older adults who have a high risk for pneumococcal disease should still receive both Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. Additionally, Pneumovax 23 is still recommended for all adults over age 65.

How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed

Doctors diagnose pneumonia mainly by talking to the person who is unwell and examining them.

Tests for pneumonia include blood samples, a swab from inside the nose or throat, urine or sputum to try to identify the cause of the pneumonia. A chest x-ray is usually also taken. If you are in hospital, doctors will also monitor to see if there is enough oxygen in your blood.

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Do You Need Both Prevnar 13 And Pneumovax 23

ACIP now recommends that patients have a conversation with their doctor to decide whether to get Prevnar 13. However, older adults who have a high risk for pneumococcal disease should still receive both Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. Additionally, Pneumovax 23 is still recommended for all adults over age 65.

Babies And The Pneumococcal Vaccine

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Babies are routinely vaccinated with a type of pneumococcal vaccine known as the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine as part of their childhood vaccination programme.

Babies born on or after 1 January 2020 have 2 injections, which are usually given at:

  • 12 weeks old
  • 1 year old

Babies born before this date will continue to be offered 3 doses, at 8 and 16 weeks and a booster at 1 year.

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When To Get The Vaccine

Thereâs no such thing as pneumonia season, like flu season. If you and your doctor decide that you need to have a pneumonia vaccine, you can get it done at any time of the year. If itâs flu season, you can even get a pneumonia vaccine at the same time that you get a flu vaccine, as long as you receive each shot in a different arm.

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
  • Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to PPSV23 should not get another shot.
  • Anyone with a severe allergy to any part of either of these vaccines should not get that vaccine. Your or your childs doctor can tell you about the vaccines ingredients.
  • 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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    How Often Do I Need To Get The Pneumonia Vaccine

    The pneumonia vaccine also known as the pneumococcal vaccine offers protection against several strains of bacteria that can cause pneumonia. There are two types of the vaccine, one of which is specifically designed for adults over the age of 65 and anyone particularly high-risk because of a long-term health condition. The other vaccine Prevnar 13 is available in our stores for adults aged 18 and over.*

    Most adults getting the pneumonia vaccine will only need to get it once. Others who are high risk may need to get booster jabs every few years.

    If youve never had the pneumonia vaccine, and you think you could benefit, you should check to see if youre eligible for it on the NHS. If not, you can book yours with us and have it in your local LloydsPharmacy.

    How Often Should I Get Pneumonia Vaccine

    Pneumonia Shot: How Often Should Seniors Get One? #pneumoniashot

    If you are over 65 but are overall healthy, you should get a one-time vaccination with the pneumonia shot. You do not require a booster shot in this case, but some doctors recommend getting a second shot 5-10 years after the first one. In case you smoke, have chronic lung disease, or have impaired immunity, you should get your first pneumonia shot whenever you want. The same holds true for anyone who has a dysfunctional spleen.

    The frequency of pneumonia vaccine depends on your age and overall health. However, it is usually enough to get the pneumonia shot once or twice during adulthood to protect yourself from pneumococcal disease. It is different from flu shots that you need to get every year. The reason is pneumonia virus does not change constantly as in the case of the influenza virus. Because the influenza virus mutates constantly, the vaccine that may have worked last year may no longer be effective in the next year.

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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.

    When Is A Pneumonia Vaccine Recommended

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the pneumonia vaccine for all children who are younger than two years of age. It is also recommended for adults who are 56 years of age or older.

    There are two types of pneumonia vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine . Each vaccine protects against different types of bacteria.

    Read Also: How Old Should You Be To Get A Pneumonia Shot

    Will Being Vaccinated Against Flu Pneumonia And Shingles Help Prevent Covid

    The short answer is no. But reducing your risk for getting sick with the flu, pneumonia, or shingles which is what these vaccines do makes a lot of sense during the pandemic, Privor-Dumm says.

    Lowering your risk for vaccine-preventable diseases will help you avoid doctors offices and hospitals, which will reduce any potential exposure to the coronavirus, Privor-Dumm adds.

    Plus, Privor-Dumm says, Preventing serious disease can help keep you out of the hospital at a time when health resources may be needed to treat COVID-19 patients.

    What You Need To Know:

    COPD And Vaccinations: Should You Get That Flu Shot ...

    Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. You can become infected if you come in contact with someone who is sick. You can get pneumonia if you recently had surgery or needed a ventilator to help you breathe. Pneumonia can also be caused by accidentally inhaling saliva or small pieces of food. Pneumonia may cause mild symptoms, or it can be severe and life-threatening.

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    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.

    What Is A Pneumococcal Vaccine

    A pneumococcal vaccine is an injection that can prevent pneumococcal disease. A pneumococcal disease is any illness that is caused by pneumococcal bacteria, including pneumonia. In fact, the most common cause of pneumonia is pneumococcal bacteria. This type of bacteria can also cause ear infections, sinus infections, and meningitis.

    Adults age 65 or older are amongst the highest risk groups for getting pneumococcal disease.

    To prevent pneumococcal disease, there are two types of pneumococcal vaccines: the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine .

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    How Long Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Last

    For most adults, one dose of the pneumonia vaccine should last a lifetime. In other words, you wont usually need to get another dose. This makes it different to the flu vaccine, which is given every year.

    For some people, boosters of the pneumonia vaccine will be needed. This will be the case for people who have underlying health conditions that make them high-risk for pneumonia and related conditions. Your doctor will let you know if you need another vaccine.

    If youre somebody who needs top-ups of the pneumonia vaccine, youll be able to receive them for free on the NHS.

    Should A 90 Year Old Get The Shingles Vaccine

    How do I get pneumonia?

    The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all people 60 years of age or older be vaccinated with one dose of Zostavax to prevent shingles. The older a person is, the more severe the effects of shingles can be, so it is worthwhile for your 90-year-old mother to get the vaccine.

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    When Is The Pneumonia Vaccine Given

    The pneumonia vaccine is not the same as the flu vaccine, as it doesnt need to be given at a certain time of year. Rather, it can be given at any time, as long as its safe for you to have it.

    However, if youre in a high-risk group for pneumonia, you should get the vaccine as soon as possible to make sure youre protected.

    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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    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:

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    Path To Improved Health

    Pneumonia vaccine: How often and when to seek help

    Pneumococcal vaccines can protect you against getting pneumonia, which is contagious and spreads from close, person-to-person contact. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and can lead to many symptoms, including:

    • cough
    • chest pains
    • bringing up mucus when you cough

    For seniors, pneumonia can be very serious and life-threatening. This is especially true if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or COPD. Pneumonia can also develop after youve had a case of the flu or a respiratory virus such as COVID-19. It is extremely important to stay current on flu shots each year in addition to your pneumococcal vaccines.

    While PPSV23 and PCV13 do not protect against all types of pneumonia, they can make it less likely that you will experience severe and possibly life-threatening complications from the illness.

    The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that seniors who have not had either pneumococcal vaccine should get a dose of PCV13 first, and then a dose of PPSV23 6-12 months later. The vaccines cannot be given at the same time. If you have recently had a dose of PPSV23, your doctor will wait at least one year to give you PCV13.

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    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?

    Vaccines For Children Program

    The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. A child is eligible if they are younger than 19 years old and meets one of the following requirements:

    • Medicaid-eligible
    • American Indian or Alaska Native
    • Underinsured

    If your child is VFC-eligible, ask if your doctor is a VFC provider. For help in finding a VFC provider near you, contact your state or local health departments VFC Program Coordinator or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO .

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    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.

    Who Should Get The Vaccine

    Concerns about lung infection from coronavirus raise questions about pneumonia vaccine

    People over age 65. As you age, your immune system doesnât work as well as it once did. Youâre more likely to have trouble fighting off a pneumonia infection. All adults over age 65 should get the vaccine.

    Those with weakened immune systems. Many diseases can cause your immune system to weaken, so itâs less able to fight off bugs like pneumonia.

    If you have heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, or COPD , youâre more likely to have a weakened immune system, which makes you more likely to get pneumonia.

    The same goes for people who receive chemotherapy, people who have had organ transplants, and people with HIV or AIDS.

    People who smoke. If youâve smoked for a long time, you could have damage to the small hairs that line the insides of your lungs and help filter out germs. When theyâre damaged, they arenât as good at stopping those bad germs.

    Heavy drinkers. If you drink too much alcohol, you may have a weakened immune system. Your white blood cells donât work as well as they do for people with a healthy immune system.

    People getting over surgery or a severe illness. If you were in the hospital ICU and needed help breathing with a ventilator, youâre at risk of getting pneumonia. The same is true if youâve just had major surgery or if youâre healing from a serious injury. When your immune system is weak because of illness or injury or because itâs helping you get better from surgery, you canât fight off germs as well as you normally can.

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