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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:
- 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.
Persons With Chronic Diseases
Refer to Immunization of Persons with Chronic Diseases in Part 3 for additional information about vaccination of people with chronic diseases.
Asplenia or hyposplenia
Hyposplenic or asplenic individuals should receive Pneu-C-13 vaccine and Pneu-P-23 vaccine, followed by a booster dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Refer to Table 3, Table 4 and Booster doses and re-immunization for additional information.
Chronic kidney disease and patients on dialysis
Individuals with chronic kidney disease should receive age appropriate pneumococcal vaccines. Children less than 18 years of age with chronic kidney failure or nephrotic syndrome, should receive Pneu-C-13 vaccine and Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Adults with chronic kidney failure should receive Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Adults with nephrotic syndrome should receive Pneu-C-13 and Pneu-P-23 vaccine. Due to the decreased immunogenicity and efficacy of Pneu-P-23 vaccine in children and adults with chronic kidney failure, 1 booster dose of Pneu-P-23 vaccine is recommended. Refer to Table 3, Table 4 and Booster doses and re-immunization for additional information.
Chronic lung disease, including asthma
Chronic heart disease
Chronic liver disease
Endocrine and metabolic diseases
Non-malignant hematologic disorders
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.
- 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.
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The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines. Claims regarding alleged injury or death due to vaccination have a time limit for filing, which may be as short as two years. Visit the VICP website at or call to learn about the program and about filing a claim.
Are The Pneumonia Vaccines Safe
Yes, pneumonia vaccines are safe. Like all vaccines, they go through rigorous scientific testing and review. Although both pneumococcal vaccines can cause mild side effects, severe reactions to the vaccines are rare. In one study of adults over age 70 who received the PCV13 and PPSV23 vaccines, there was only one adverse event that was related to the vaccine.
Allergic reactions to vaccines are rare, but they can occur and may be serious. If you have had an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in the pneumococcal vaccines or to a prior dose of a pneumococcal vaccine, you should not get vaccinated without talking to your healthcare provider first.
If you have questions about whether the pneumonia vaccines are safe for you, discuss this with your healthcare provider. You can also find information about pneumococcal vaccine safety here.
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Medical Conditions Resulting In High Risk Of Ipd
Table 1: Medical Conditions Resulting in High risk of IPD
IPD is more common in the winter and spring in temperate climates.
Spectrum of clinical illness
Although asymptomatic upper respiratory tract colonization is common, infection with S. pneumoniae may result in severe disease. IPD is a severe form of infection that occurs when S. pneumoniae invades normally sterile sites, such as the bloodstream or central nervous system. Bacteremia and meningitis are the most common manifestations of IPD in children 2 years of age and younger. Bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common presentation among adults and is a common complication following influenza. The case fatality rate of bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia is 5% to 7% and is higher among elderly persons. Bacterial spread within the respiratory tract may result in AOM, sinusitis or recurrent bronchitis.
Worldwide, pneumococcal disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The World Health Organization estimates that almost 500,000 deaths among children aged less than 5 years are attributable to pneumococcal disease each year. In Canada, IPD is most common among the very young and adults over 65 years of age.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Pcv And Ppsv Vaccines
Kids may have redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given. A child also might have a fever after getting the shot. There is a very small chance of an allergic reaction with any vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccines contain only a small piece of the germ and so cannot cause pneumococcal disease.
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What Is Walking Pneumonia
- Lung Health and Diseases
“Walking pneumonia” is a non-medical term for a mild case of pneumonia. Technically, it’s called atypical pneumonia and is caused by bacteria or viruses often a common bacterium called Mycoplasma pneumonia. Bed rest or hospitalization are usually not needed, and symptoms can be mild enough that you can continue about your daily activities, hence the term “walking.”
But don’t be fooled. Walking pneumonia can still make you miserable, with cough, fever, chest pain, mild chills, headache, etc. It feels more akin to a bad cold, and despite what the term “walking” implies, taking care of yourself is the best path to recovery.
“If you have the symptoms listed above, even if mild, you should see a doctor as soon as possible,” says Dr. Albert Rizzo, senior medical advisor to the American Lung Association. Rizzo notes that walking pneumonia is treatable with antibiotics if your doctor believes bacteria to be the cause. Over-the-counter medications can also be used to relieve symptoms, such as antihistamines for nasal congestion or cough medications to help ease the cough and loosen any mucus . “In addition, it’s important to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take fever-reducing medicine if you have a fever,” he adds.
Just like typical pneumonia, walking pneumonia spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. To reduce your risk of infection, follow these tips and learn more about avoiding pneumonia:
When Will Prevnar 20 Be Available
We dont know yet when Prevnar 20 will be available since a specific timeline hasnt been announced yet.
Healthcare providers reference the CDCs updated immunizations schedules complex diagrams that show when and how vaccines should be administered to help make sure appropriate vaccines are administered. Prevnar 20 is not yet incorporated into these schedules, so its difficult for healthcare providers to know who specifically should receive the vaccine at this time.
However, its likely that ACIP will recommend the vaccines use and add it to the immunization schedule after they meet in October 2021.
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How Does It Work
Prevnar 20 is a conjugate vaccine. This means that it contains pieces of sugar-like substances called polysaccharides that typically coat the bacteria but also hide it from our immune system. The vaccine uses only a certain portion of the bacteria not the bacteria itself so its unable to cause an infection.
This conjugate vaccine uses 20 slightly different polysaccharides that are specific to the 20 serotypes and attaches them to proteins that our immune systems can recognize. If the bacteria enters the body after the vaccination is administered, the immune system can recognize the polysaccharide molecule and release antibodies to fight the bacteria before it causes an infection.
Which Pneumonia Vaccine Is Best
There is no best pneumonia vaccine. The two available pneumonia vaccines are different, and which one is best for you depends on how old you are and whether or not you have certain medical conditions.
The main difference between Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 is the number of pneumococcus strains the vaccine protects against.
PPSV23 contains polysaccharides from 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria and is mainly given to older adults.
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Interchangeability Of 10vpcv And 13vpcv
There are no specific data on the interchangeability of 10vPCV and 13vPCV. It is preferable to complete a primary course of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine with the same formulation. However, if a child started their vaccination course with 10vPCV , it is acceptable to complete the course with 13vPCV
The only absolute contraindications to pneumococcal vaccines are:
- anaphylaxis after a previous dose of any pneumococcal vaccine
- anaphylaxis after any component of a pneumococcal vaccine
Can The Shots Cause Pneumonia Or Make You Sick
No. The pneumonia vaccines dont contain live bacteria, so they cant cause an infection. They wont cause pneumonia or other pneumococcal diseases. If you dont feel well after your vaccine, you should discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider to find out whether they are related to the vaccine or caused by another illness.
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Why Is Pneumonia Dangerous What Are The Possible Complications Of Leaving This Condition Untreated
Pneumonia can usually be treated successfully without leading to complications. However, complications like the ones listed below can develop in some patients, especially those in high-risk groups.
Fluid or pus could get accumulated between the covering of the lungs and the inner lining of the chest wall this is called a pleural effusion . A chest tube may be needed to drain the fluid/pus.
Pus might collect in the lung area infected with pneumonia . Rarely this may require surgery.
Bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and other organs. This is a serious complication since the infection can cause the blood pressure to be dangerously low.
Although most people recover from pneumonia, it can be fatal in some cases. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of patients admitted to a general medical ward, and almost 30 percent of patients with severe infection admitted to an intensive care unit can die.
Tell Your Vaccination Provider If The Person Getting The Vaccine:
- Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of PCV13, to an earlier pneumococcal conjugate vaccine known as PCV7, or to any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid , or has any severe, life-threatening allergies
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone PCV13 vaccination until a future visit.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting PCV13.
Your health care provider can give you more information.
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Side Effects Of The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Like most vaccines, the childhood and adult versions of the pneumococcal vaccine can sometimes cause mild side effects.
- redness where the injection was given
- hardness or swelling where the injection was given
There are no serious side effects listed for either the childhood or adult versions of the vaccine, apart from an extremely rare risk of a severe allergic reaction .
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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Is The New Pneumonia Vaccine Better
Q.I heard there is a new pneumonia shot. Is it better than the old one?
A. The older pneumonia shot is the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. It’s recommended for all men over age 65 and anyone with certain medical conditions, such as lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, and problems with the immune system. The vaccine protects against 23 kinds of pneumococcus, which is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. Vaccination might not prevent you from ever getting pneumonia, but it could keep you out of the hospital and prevent the infection from spreading to your brain or bloodstream.
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New Effective Pneumonia Vaccine For Seniors Finally Gets Green Light
Medically, it just never made sense. Pfizer s Prevnar-13 pneumonia vaccine works very well in protecting against infection by Streptococcus pneumoniae the most common type of pneumonia, and the leading cause of death for adults 65 and older.
Additional clinical trials to determine other measures of efficacy are ongoing, but the vaccine was shown to be 46% effective in preventing the first case of pneumonia in the CAPiTA trial .
Here are the new CDC indications for the vaccine:
- Adults 65 years of age or older who have not previously received pneumococcal vaccine or whose previous vaccination history is unknown should receive a dose of first, followed by a dose of an older pneumonia vaccine
- Adults 65 years of age or older who have not previously received PCV13 and who have previously received one or more doses of should receive a dose of
- The recommendations for routine use among adults 65 years and older should be re-evaluated in 2018 and revised as needed.
is a different type of vaccine that provides protection against the same bacteria. It is considered to be less effective in older children and adults.)
So, why are two different agencies, both of which are part of the US Department of Health & Human Services seemingly at odds with each other?
ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom has wondered if this wasn’t more about money than medicine.
You can read his 2012 New York Post op-ed, The ugly toll of health efficiency, which discusses this exact issue here.
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Signs Of Pneumonia Vaccine Side Effects
As with any vaccination, there are potential side effects of the pneumonia vaccination. Common side effects include:
Injection site soreness
Less than 1% of people who receive a pneumonia vaccine develop a fever. If your temperature is above 100.4 F , you have a fever.
Irritability is a feeling of agitation. When you’re feeling irritable, you’re more likely to become frustrated or upset. In children, this may present as fussiness.
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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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.
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