Pneumococcal Vaccination
 
 

Pneumococcal Vaccination

Find Services and other Health Information from A-Z

PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINATION

Pneumococcal disease, caused by pneumococcal bacteria, is a serious illness in children and adults throughout the world. Pneumococcal bacteria are responsible for thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year. It is estimated that over half of these could be prevented with a pneumococcal vaccination.

The pneumococcal bacteria is most commonly seen in the lungs as bacterial pneumonia. However, pneumococcal disease can also cause serious infections in the brain, or meningitis, and in the bloodstream, or bacteremia. It can also cause middle ear and sinus infections.

Why Have a Pneumococcal Vaccination?

Medical studies have shown that pneumococcal vaccination can lower the chances of getting pneumococcal disease and lower the risks of hospitalization and death. A major concern in treating pneumococcal disease is antibiotic resistance. In recent years the bacteria that cause pneumococcal disease have become more resistant to many available antibiotics used in treatments. Fortunately, vaccination is not affected by this growing resistance and continues to be effective in preventing disease.

Who Should Have a Pneumococcal Vaccination?

People who should get the Pneumococcal vaccine include:

  • Anyone 65 or older
  • Infants and children under 2 years of age
  • Anyone age 2 through 64 years of age with chronic illness such as: heart disease, lung disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, alcoholism, cirrhosis, leaks of cerebrospinal fluid or cochlear implant.
  • Anyone 2 through 64 years of age who has a disease or condition that lowers the body’s resistance to infection, such as: Hodgkin’s disease; lymphoma or leukemia; kidney failure; multiple myeloma; nephrotic syndrome; HIV infection or AIDS; damaged spleen, or no spleen; organ transplant.
  • Anyone through 64 years of age who is taking a drug or treatment that lowers the body’s resistance to infection, such as: long-term steroids, certain cancer drugs, radiation therapy.
  • Any adult 19 through 64 years of age who is a smoker or has asthma.
  • Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

People who should not get the vaccine include:

  • Anyone who has had a severe or life-threatening reaction to the pneumococcal vaccination; or a severe allergy to any part of a vaccine.
  • Although people with mild illnesses such as a cold can usually get the pneumococcal vaccination, those who are suffering moderate to severe illness should generally wait until they have fully recovered before receiving the vaccination.
  • Even though there is no evidence that the vaccine is harmful to either a pregnant woman or to her fetus, vaccination is not recommended during pregnancy. Pregnant women who have chronic illnesses should consult their provider before being vaccinated.

Types of Vaccines

Currently, there are two types of pneumococcal vaccine:

  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23, protects against pneumococcal bacteria most likely to cause serious disease.
  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or the PCV13, replaces PCV7. This vaccine protects against the bacteria types responsible for the most severe pneumococcal infections among children.

When to Have a Pneumococcal Vaccination

The pneumococcal vaccine can be given at the same time as the flu shot. While most people only need a single dose, the CDC advises people 65 and older to have a second dose of the vaccine if they received the shot more than 5 years previously and were younger than 65 when they were vaccinated the first time. Contact your health care provider with any questions you may have.

Complications and Concerns

A vaccine, like any medicine, might cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. Life-threatening allergic reactions from vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

About half of the people who get pneumococcal vaccine have minor side effects including temporary swelling, redness, and soreness at the place on the arm where the shot was given. A few people, less than 1 percent, have fever, muscle pain, or more serious swelling and pain on the arm.

Common reactions in infants after getting the PCV13 are mild and include drowsiness; a temporary loss of appetite; redness, swelling or tenderness where the shot was given; fever; fussiness or irritability.

What We Have Learned

  1. Pneumococcal disease is a serious illness in children and adults.
    True or False
    The answer is TRUE
  2. Pneumococcal bacteria is a common cause of bacterial pneumonia.
    True or False
    The answer is TRUE
  3. The pneumococcal vaccine rarely causes serious side effects.
    True or False
    The answer is TRUE

THE CONTENTS OF THIS VIDEO/WEBSITE ARE FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS VIDEO/WEBSITE IS INTENDED TO SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH CARE RELATED CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS, YOU SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS. YOU SHOULD NEVER DISREGARD TOR DISCOUNT THE IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ OR SEEN ON THIS VIDEO/WEBSITE. YOU SHOULD NEVER DELAY SEEKING TREATMENT OR ADVICE FOR A MEDICAL CONDITION BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ OR SEEN ON THIS VIDEO/WEBSITE.

COPYRIGHT 2012

KRAMES STAYWELL LLC.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.