You can be vaccinated for pneumococcal pneumonia almost any time you visit a healthcare office or hospital, so talk to your doctor about whether it is right for you. The vaccination can also help prevent other diseases caused by pneumococcal bacteria such as ear infection, sinus infection, meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord), and bacteremia (bloodstream infection).
Anyone can receive the vaccine, but those who are most at risk for infection are:
- Children under age 2
- Adults age 65 and older
- Those with chronic illnesses such as heart, lung, kidney, liver, diabetes mellitus, malignancy, or immune system diseases
- Smokers age 19 and older
There are two different pneumococcal vaccines, PPSV23 and PCV13. Your healthcare provider will help decide whether each is needed which version is right for you. Talk to your doctor if you have had allergic reactions to vaccines in the past or if you are not feeling well. He or she may decide to postpone your vaccination to a future visit.
If you do not have a primary care provider, visit www.gbmc.org/mydoctor to find one who is right for you!