Pneumonia is a type of lung infection that causes inflammation, creating breathing difficulties.
Pneumonia vaccines help to prevent pneumonia or pneumococcal disease. While there is no guarantee that the vaccine will prevent you from catching the infection, it can lower your risk. Guidelines recommend those over the age of 65 or with a weakened immune system get the pneumonia vaccine.
An Overview of the Pneumonia Vaccine
Other people who must get this vaccine are those who have been smoking for a long time, heavy drinkers, or people who are already getting over another serious injury or ailment which weakens the immune system and leaves them more susceptible to catching pneumonia.
Talk to your doctor or a professional healthcare provider before you decide to get a pneumonia vaccination. He or she will be able to determine whether you actually need the vaccine or not.
Two FDA-approved pneumonia vaccines available in the United States:
- The PCV13 vaccination will help to protect from 13 different types of bacteria that will cause pneumonia.
- The PPSV23 vaccination will help to prevent pneumonia caused by 30 different types of bacteria.
You will usually not get pneumonia with the vaccine as it only contains a part of the pneumonia bacteria, not the whole bacteria itself. That said, there are severe side effects that could occur. A fever, sore muscles, loss of appetite, irritability, and soreness or swelling at the injection site are just some of the reported side effects that could occur with the pneumonia vaccine.
You should not take the pneumonia vaccine if you are a healthy adult between the ages of 18 and 64. You should also avoid the vaccine if you are allergic to anything in the vaccine.
Talk to a doctor if you have any questions regarding the pneumonia vaccine, such as the types of ingredients it has or whether your insurance coverage pays for it.
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