Know The Facts About The Pneumonia Vaccine
Just as with a flu shot, and now the COVID-19 vaccines, some people believe that getting a pneumococcal vaccine will cause them to come down with the disease or experience long-term side effects.
This is absolutely not true, Dr. Suri says.
Not only will the pneumococcal vaccine help reduce the risk of contracting certain types of bacterial pneumonia, it also guards against serious consequences resulting from the flu and severe infections, such as .
For young children, older adults, smokers and those with other risk factors, the vaccine is a healthy choice to make.
I cant see any reason to avoid this vaccine and every reason to get it, she says.
What To Do If Your Child Is Unwell After The Vaccine
Its possible that your child may feel unwell after receiving a dose of the pneumococcal vaccine. Should this happen, there are ways to help ease their symptoms.
If your child has a fever, try to keep them cool. You can do this by providing cool liquids for them to drink and ensuring theyre not wearing too many layers.
Tenderness, redness or discoloration, and swelling at the site of the shot can be eased by applying a cool compress. To do this, wet a clean washcloth with cool water and place it gently on the affected area.
Symptoms like fever and pain at the site of the shot may be alleviated using over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen . Be sure to use the infant formulation and to carefully follow the dosing instructions on the product packaging.
Prior to being approved for use, the safety and effectiveness of all vaccines must be rigorously evaluated in clinical trials. Lets take a look at some of the research into the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccines.
A evaluated the effectiveness of the PCV13 vaccine in children. It found that:
- The vaccine effectiveness of PCV13 against the 13 pneumococcal strains included in the vaccine was 86 percent.
- The vaccine effectiveness against pneumococcal disease due to any strain of S.pneumoniae was 60.2 percent.
- The effectiveness of PCV13 didnt differ significantly between children with and without underlying health conditions.
The CDC also notes that more than
You shouldnt get the PCV13 vaccine if youre:
Other Types Of Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumonia vaccines protect against pneumococcal infections in other parts of the body. These infections include:
What is it: An infection in the middle part of the ear.
Symptoms: Fever, ear pain, and decreased hearing
What is it: A sinus infection, which is often first caused by a virus. Later, a bacterial infection can set in, causing worsening or ongoing symptoms.
Symptoms: Pain and pressure around the eyes and nose, fever, drainage, and congestion
Who gets it: Sinus infections are more common in adults than in children. Pneumococcus is a common cause and may contribute to up to 35% of sinus infections.
What is it: An infection of the leptomeninges, or the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can be life-threatening, so getting immediate treatment is important.
Symptoms: Fever, confusion, headache, and neck stiffness
Who gets it: Pneumococcal meningitis usually occurs in very young children and older adults. In the U.S., pneumococcus is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children under age 5.
These infections can also be caused by other bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pneumococcus, the pneumococcal vaccines, is only one cause.
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Why Do Healthy People Need To Get Vaccinated
Healthy people should get vaccinated against the flu vaccine every year because anyone can get seriously ill from the flu virus. Some groups have a higher risk than others. But the flu vaccine helps prevent serious illness and death from the flu in all people who get vaccinated and in people who are unable to get vaccinated. The more people who get the flu vaccine, the more everyone in our community is protected.
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Which Vaccines Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover
Medicare Advantage plans, sometimes referred to as Part C plans, are offered by private insurers for a set monthly premium. These plans bundle Part A and Part B insurance and usually Part D coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans must cover certain vaccines with no copay when given by a healthcare provider who accepts your insurance. The vaccines usually covered are:
Hepatitis A and B
Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis
Check with your insurance provider for specific plan details. Avoiding these preventative vaccines can have serious health consequences. Since you can easily get vaccines at your providers office or the pharmacy, making them a priority is worthwhile.
During the lockdown, routine vaccines have dipped substantially. Its important to catch up on immunizations that were missed, Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells GoodRx.
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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:
What Is The Pneumonia Vaccine Exactly
The pneumonia vaccine helps prevent pneumococcal disease, which is any kind of illness caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. That includes pneumonia and meningitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . There are actually two types of pneumococcal vaccines in the US:
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, known as PCV13
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, known as PPSV23
PCV13 protects against 13 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease, the CDC says, and specifically works against the most serious types of pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia. PPSV23 protects against 23 types of bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease and helps prevent infections like meningitis and bacteremia.
The pneumococcal vaccines can be lifesaving. Pneumococcal pneumonia kills about one in 20 older adults who get it, according to the CDC. The vaccines offer a lot of protection. PCV13 can protect three in four adults ages 65 and up against invasive pneumococcal disease and nine in 20 adults ages 65 and older against pneumococcal pneumonia, per CDC data. One shot of PPSV23 protects up to 17 in 20 healthy adults against invasive pneumococcal disease.
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Who Should Not Get Vaccinated Or Should Wait
- Anyone who has had a lifeâthreatening allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine Prevnar 7 or any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid: CDC.gov/Vaccines/VPD/Pneumo/Public/Index.html
- Anyone who is moderately or severely ill when the shot is scheduled should wait until feeling better
- For information regarding additional warnings and precautions, please visit: CDC.gov/Vaccines/VPD/Pneumo/HCP/Recommendations.html#Contraindications-Precautions
An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure
In the 1940s all of the strains of pneumococcus could be treated with the antibiotic, penicillin. However, over time many pneumococcal strains have become resistant not only to penicillin, but also to other antibiotics developed to combat bacterial infections. Resistance means that bacteria have changed, or evolved, so that they are no longer killed by one or more antibiotics. As a result, treatment with those antibiotics is not effective against those resistant strains.
Strains of pneumococcus have now been identified that are highly resistant to most antibiotics. Our reliance on and overuse of antibiotics have led to this resistance, backing us into a corner when treating infections caused by these and other types of bacteria. Unfortunately, we have taken our first steps into a post-antibiotic era. This makes the use of vaccines all the more important.
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Does Medicare Cover The Pneumonia Shot
Medicare covers the full cost for receiving two different types of pneumonia vaccines also called pneumococcal vaccines. But the shots have to be given at least a year apart.
Types of Pneumonia Vaccines Approved in the U.S.
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV13
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV20
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine PPSV23
You will pay nothing for the shots so long as you are enrolled in Medicare Part B and the doctor, pharmacist or other qualified health care provider giving the shots accepts the Medicare-approved cost.
Medicare Advantage plans will also cover the cost of both pneumococcal vaccinations. These are private plans that are required to cover everything Medicare Part A and Part B cover.
What Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
The pneumonia vaccine is an injection that prevents you from contracting pneumococcal disease. There are two pneumococcal vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States:
The Center for Disease Control recommends the PCV13 vaccine for:
- All children younger than 2 years old
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions
The CDC recommends PPSV23 for:
- All adults 65 years or older
- People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions
- Smokers 19 through 64 years old
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What Are The Side Effects Of The Pneumococcal Vaccine
After receiving the pneumococcal vaccine, children commonly will have pain or swelling where the shot is given and occasionally low-grade fever. About 1 of every 100 children will develop a high fever.
Side effects from the polysaccharide version used in adults include tenderness and redness at the injection site, and about 1 of every 100 people will get a fever and experience muscle aches.
What Is The Pneumonia Shot
The pneumonia shot is a vaccine that keeps you from getting pneumonia. There are two types of vaccines. The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is primarily for children under age two, though it can be given to older ages, as well. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is for adults over age 65.
The pneumonia vaccine for older adults is one dose. Unlike the flu vaccine, you dont get it every year.
The vaccine teaches your body to make proteins that will destroy the pneumonia bacteria. These proteins are called antibodies and they will protect you and keep you from getting infected. The pneumonia vaccines dont have live bacteria or viruses in them, so you wont get pneumonia from the vaccine.
You should have the pneumonia vaccine if you:
- Are over age 65
- Have a long-term health problem
Vaccines dont prevent all pneumonia, but people who get the shot dont get as sick as those who dont have it. Benefits of the vaccine include:
- Milder infections
- Ringing in your ears
If you know you dont like needles or feel worried before getting a vaccine, you can try to look away while you have the shot. You can also try a relaxation technique like deep breathing or visualization to help you feel calm.
Older people are more likely to have long-term health problems that can make getting an infection dangerous. The pneumonia shot is recommended for most people.
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How Much Does The Vaccine Cost
The pneumococcal vaccine will usually cost somewhere between $90 and $150 if you pay out-of-pocket. This entire cost will be covered by Medicare Part B health insurance for the first two doses that you receive. After this, you may have to pay the entire cost out of pocket, or just pay a portion depending on the specific details of your situation.
Are There Side Effects
Some people have side effects from the vaccine, but these are usually minor and last only a short time. It is quite common to have some swelling and soreness in the arm where the needle was given. Occasionally slight fever may occur. Other side effects – such as headache, a higher fever or fatigue may occur, but these are rare. You should always discuss the benefits and risks of any vaccine with your doctor.
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Who Should Not Get The Pneumococcal Vaccine Or Should Wait To Get It
- You should not get the vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to it or to a vaccine for diphtheria, such as DTaP, Tdap, or Td. Tell your healthcare provider if you had an allergic reaction to any other vaccine. Also tell your provider if you have any severe allergies.
- You should wait to get the vaccine if you are sick or have a fever.
- You may need to wait to get the vaccine if you are a pregnant woman. If possible, get the vaccine before you become pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks of this vaccine. Your provider can tell you if you are at high risk for pneumococcal infection and when to get the vaccine if you are already pregnant.
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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Things To Check Off Your Health Care List This Year
With everything else that we have going on in our lives, plus staying home more due to the pandemic, it may be easy to put off appointments for preventive screenings, check-ups and immunizations. But as we get older, these visits become even more important and many of them come at no additional cost under your Medicare plan.
For example, did you know that Medicare covers an annual wellness visit at no extra cost to you? Flu and pneumonia vaccines are also fully covered.
And rest assured that, in light of the pandemic, clinics, doctors offices and pharmacies have health and safety protocols in place to help keep patients safe during their appointments.
Make it a priority to add the following appointments to your 2021 calendar. Your long-term health may thank you.1. Annual wellness visitThere is no additional charge under Medicare for your wellness visit.
2. VaccinationsA COVID-19 vaccine might be available in your area. These vaccines are an important step in slowing the spread of the disease. Visit our COVID-19 vaccine page to learn more about the vaccine, check symptoms, find testing centers and more.
For shingles, a vaccination is the best way to protect against the disease. Two doses are recommended for those 50 and older.
The flu shot usually becomes available in August. Its important to receive your flu shot each year, particularly in a time of COVID-19.
What Pneumonia Vaccine Is Recommended For Seniors
The current guidance by CDC recommends adults 65 years and older get the PPSV23 vaccine to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia and other types of severe pneumococcal disease.
You may need both the PPSV23 and the PCV13 shots if youre at higher risk . You and your doctor will decide if you need the additional pneumococcal vaccine .
Symptoms of pneumonia include cough, chills, fever, trouble breathing and chest pain. In serious cases, pneumonia can be life-threatening and require hospitalization.
Pneumonia infections may be caused by multiple organisms . You are at increased risk of developing pneumonia after a respiratory viral illness like influenza or other respiratory infections. So its a good idea to get the flu shot each year.
Individuals 65 years and older, children younger than two years, people who smoke, and those with other health conditions like asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, liver, heart, or kidney disease, and immunocompromised people are at greater risk for serious pneumococcal infection.
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What You Need To Know About Pneumonia And Flu Shots
This article was first published in The Montreal Gazette.
Recently, Oprah got pneumonia. Then she went on Ellen to recommend that everyone get their flu and pneumonia shots. Given that only 42 per cent of Canadians over the age of 65 got the pneumonia vaccine in 2016, maybe Oprah can get us over the 80 per cent target.
Sadly, Oprah has not always been a strong advocate for science. She gave a platform to Jenny McCarthy when she started claiming that vaccines caused her sons autism, and she also introduced the world to Dr. Oz.
But as Oprah explained to Ellen, pneumonia is no joke. Around 1.5 million people are hospitalized with pneumonia every year. Around 100,000 die in hospital and a third of people hospitalized with pneumonia die within the year.
Older patients are at greater risk and so are those with pre-existing lung disease. Smoking is also a risk factor for pneumonia, so if you need an extra incentive to stop smoking, this is it. But the main way to prevent pneumonia is with vaccines.
The problem with the pneumonia vaccine is not one of efficacy. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 18 randomized trials found that the pneumonia vaccine led to a substantial reduction in infections. The problem is which pneumonia vaccine to give people.
And if you wont listen to me, at least listen to Oprah.
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