Pneumonia Vaccine Provides Extra Protection
When Your Lungs Need It Most
What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can affect people of all ages. It is often treated with medication, but it can be prevented with vaccination. Pneumonia infection can come from different sources including influenza, coronavirus, bacteria, fungi and various other viruses.
How does pneumonia factor in with viruses such as Coronavirus?
It is well known that bacterial pneumonia infections are a common cause of influenza-related hospitalization in otherwise healthy individuals. Analysis of the influenza pandemic of 1957 showed that more than two thirds of the fatal cases were associated with bacterial pneumonia.1
Bacterial pathogens work in two ways to cause a worsened outcome when a viral infection is also involved. If a viral and bacterial infection are present at the same time, the inflammation caused by the bacterial infection can allow the virus to spread without response from the body. Pneumonia causing bacteria can spread undetected by the body causing a super infection even when the viral infection has been taken care of by the immune system.2
Initial studies of Coronavirus show that this virus behaves similarly to other respiratory viruses. The pneumonia vaccine can prevent bacterial pneumonia from becoming part of a co-infection complicating the condition.
What Is the Pneumonia Vaccine?
The pneumonia vaccine provides protection against all forms of bacterial pneumonia. It is primarily designed for use in seniors, to help protect against potentially deadly or life-altering infection.
The vaccine does not protect against influenza, coronavirus or fungal pneumonia.
Who Should Get the Pneumonia Vaccine?
Pneumonia vaccination is recommended for all adults 65 or over. Some other individuals should consider pneumonia vaccination. These include:
- Adults with chronic illness like liver or heart disease
- People with a weakened immune system over the age of 2
- Individuals with cochlear implants
- Those who smoke
- People with asthma
- People with who are immunocompromised (Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, HIV, Hepatitis C, etc.)
- Those with a previous history of respiratory infections
- Individuals with diabetes
- People who have COPD or emphysema
- Anyone on oxygen therapy for medical conditions
While the pneumonia vaccine may not be covered by insurance if you are under 65, everyone can elect to get the vaccine if it is not medically contraindicated. To schedule an appointment with one of our travel health specialists, call one of our office locations listed. They can assist you in determining if this vaccine is recommended for you.
*If you are sick or do not feel well on the day of immunization, consult with a travel health specialist if you should delay injection.
1 de Roux A, Ewig S, García E, Marcos MA, Mensa J, Lode H, Torres A. Mixed community-acquired pneumonia in hospitalised patients. Eur Respir J. 2006;27:795–800.
2 Koenraad F van der Sluijs, Tom van der Poll, René Lutter, Nicole P Juffermans, and Marcus J Schultz. Bench-to-bedside review: Bacterial pneumonia with influenza – pathogenesis and clinical implications. Crit Care. 2010; 14(2): 219.