Who should get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine? When?
The CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all adults 65 years and older. It states, in fact, that “vaccination is the safest, most effective way to help protect yourself” from pneumococcal pneumonia. It’s important to note the CDC also says anyone with chronic at-risk conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or COPD, should receive a pneumococcal vaccination.6 So should smokers.
After our interview with Dr. Hogue, FabOverFifty also learned that two vaccines can help prevent the disease: PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) and PPSV23 (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine). You should receive a dose of PCV13 first, followed by a dose of PPSV23 a year later. The two vaccines protect against 26 strains of pneumococcus bacteria, and also provide protection against illnesses including meningitis (inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia (bacteria in the blood). These vaccines are safe, but side effects can occur; most are mild, such as arm swelling or soreness.
You should not get the vaccines If you’re allergic to any component in them.