Ask the Nurse; Why should I get a pneumonia shot?

March 4, 2018

Pneumonia is a severe illness caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. It is the most common cause of blood stream infections, pneumonia, meningitis & middle ear infections. People who get pneumonia are at higher risk for hospitalization or death.

What about the vaccine? — Prevnar 13 is a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria.

Once vaccinated, most healthy adults develop protection to most or all types within 2-3 weeks. The CDC recommends the following be vaccinated.

  1. All adults 65 or older should receive Prevnar 13, then 1 year later the Pneumovax 23.
  2. All children younger than 5 years old.
  3. Children 2 years or older who are at high risk of pneumococcal disease.
  4. Anyone 19 or older with risk factors.


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