The pneumonia vaccine is not a 100% foolproof preventative measure as this common viral infection may befall even those who have gotten the vaccination. Regardless, getting the pneumonia vaccine dramatically reduces one’s risk of getting pneumonia. Furthermore, if you catch pneumonia despite having gotten the vaccine, your condition will likely be a lot less severe compared to individuals who have not gotten the pneumonia vaccine.
Best Time to Get the Pneumonia Vaccine
Pneumonia doesn’t have a particular season like influenza (the flu). Hence, if you and your primary physician come to the decision that you should get the pneumonia vaccination, you may get the shot at any time. You can also get the vaccine for pneumonia and your flu shot simultaneously when it is flu season; just make sure not to get both shots in the same arm.
How the Pneumonia Vaccine Works
There are two types of pneumonia vaccines that keep patients protected against various strains of the viral infection. These are PCV13 and PPSV23.
PCV13 is used against 13 of the most serious bacterial infections that bring on pneumonia. PPSV23, on the other hand, is used against 23 other bacterial infections that are associated with pneumonia. High-risk individuals must get both vaccinations; the PCV13 vaccine first and the PPSV23 vaccine after. One of each vaccine typically suffices to keep most patients protected against pneumonia for life. In some cases, it may be necessary for some to get a booster vaccine. Discuss whether you need an additional shot with your primary physician.
Pneumonia Vaccine Risks
The pneumonia vaccine itself cannot cause pneumonia. The pneumonia vaccination doesn’t actually contain the bacterial infection, only a concentrate of the pneumonia-causing bacteria. Nonetheless, the vaccine does cause some mild side effects in some patients such as a low-grade fever, reactions on the injection site, decreased appetite, and muscle or joint pain. Still, a very small portion of those who get the pneumonia vaccination ends up experiencing these side effects.
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