What Seniors Need to Know About Pneumococcal Vaccines

Senior Care in Webster, NY


Many seniors may have heard about the “pneumonia vaccine,” but they may be surprised to learn that it is actually two vaccines that can protect them from more than just pneumonia. Pneumococcal bacteria is the bacteria that causes pneumonia and meningitis, both of which can be life-threatening. Adults over the age of 65 are at a higher risk for life-threatening infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria, due to weakened immunity. Fortunately, seniors can be vaccinated for pneumococcal disease by getting two vaccines. Read on for some information that seniors need to know about getting pneumococcal vaccines.

What are the Pneumococcal Vaccines?

There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines, PCV13 and PPSV23, and the CDC recommends that adults over the age of 65 receive both of them if they have never received them before. The PCV13 is given first and then the PPSV23 is given 6 to 12 months later.

What do Pneumococcal Vaccines Protect Against?

The pneumococcal vaccines can protect seniors against pneumonia, meningitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and blood stream infections that are caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria can be very serious and even life-threatening which is why it is so important for seniors to get vaccinated. It is important to note that pneumococcal vaccines do not protect against pneumonia that is caused by a virus or by different bacteria.

What are the Side Effects of the Pneumococcal Vaccine?

Seniors who get the two pneumococcal vaccines may experience some side effects. Side effects of the PCV13 include pain, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, chills, muscle pain, a low fever, and/or headaches. Side effects of the PPSV23 also include pain, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site. Seniors who experience more severe side effects from the vaccines such as fainting, dizziness, and/or severe pain should seek medical attention immediately. These reactions and severe allergic reactions to the pneumococcal vaccines are very rare.

Remember, since aging adults have a weakened immune system, staying up to date on vaccinations is a good idea. Seniors who are concerned about being properly vaccinated should ask their doctor about which vaccines they recommend getting and when they should get them. When seniors are properly vaccinated they are protected against diseases that can cause serious complications, hospital stays, and even be life-threatening.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/default.htm

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Webster, NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.