Why is pneumococcal vaccine important?
Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In the United States, common causes of viral pneumonia are influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and a common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus).
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. It is the leading cause of death in children younger than five years of age worldwide. However, these infections can often be prevented with vaccines and can usually be treated with antibiotics, antiviral drugs (such as Tam- iflu), or specific drug therapies.
Common signs of pneumonia include cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. You are more likely to become ill with pneumonia if you smoke or have underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. However, you can lower your chances by taking good care of your medical problems, and quitting smoking. You can also help prevent pneumonia and other respiratory infections by following good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands regularly and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Your doctor or other healthcare professional can advise you on which vaccines you need and why — as well as which vaccines may not be right for you based on certain factors such as allergies to vaccine ingredients or health conditions.
With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of reactions. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible. Adults have reported pain, redness, and swelling where the shot was given; also mild fever, fatigue, headache, chills, or muscle pain. If you are not feeling well, your health care provider might decide to reschedule the shot on another day.
Pneumonia vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in
the vaccine. There are different types of pneumococcal vaccines. Discuss what type of vaccine you should receive with your doctor. The number of individuals needed to receive a pneumococcal vaccine and save one life, is approximately 1,050 individuals.
Why do I need to get these shots?
Shots help protect you against diseases that can be serious and sometimes deadly — many of these diseases are common. Even if you have always gotten your shots on schedule, you still need to get some shots as an older adult. This is because:
Protect yourself and those around you by staying up to date on your shots. Even if you were vaccinated at a younger age, the protection from some vaccines can wear off or the virus or bacteria that the vaccine protects against changes so your resistance is not as strong. As you get older, you may also be at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases due to your age, job, hobbies, travel, or health conditions.
Adult immunization Flu
Herpes Zoster (Shingles)
Health Topics and Lifestyle