QUESTION: “I just had a visit with my doctor and was told to get a pneumonia shot. I heard there are two different kinds, which one should I get? Is it a good time to get it now?”
ANSWER: Anyone 65 and older is recommended to get both pneumonia shots, Prevnar-13 and Pneumovax. The CDC has a specific guideline on when and which pneumonia shot to get.
There are currently two vaccines available for preventing pneumococcal pneumonia, Prevnar-13 (PCV13) and Pneumovax (PPSV23). Each provides protection from different strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae, the main bacteria that causes community acquired pneumonia.
Prevnar13 (PCV13) protects against 13 of the approximately 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria that can cause the most serious types of pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia, meningitis, and bacteremia.
Pneumovax (PPSV23) protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. This vaccine helps to prevent invasive infections like meningitis and bacteremia.
Therefore, the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all adults 65 and older to receive both Prevnar-13 and Pneumovax for broader protection against pneumococcal pneumonia.
When and Which:
Flu and pneumonia shots at the same time?
Yes. These vaccines can be given at the same time, as long as they are given in different arms. In fact, pneumonia can be a complication of influenza, so getting both vaccines is a smart choice.
Now, these are general pneumonia vaccination recommendations and we realize that you may have a more specific question. Therefore, it is best to Ask The Pharmacist if you are unsure about when and what pneumonia shot to get.
- Pneumococcal Vaccination: Who Needs It? http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/vacc-in-short.htm
- Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13) VIS http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/pcv13.html
- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide VIS http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/ppv.html
- Pneumococcal Vaccines (PCV13 and PPSV23) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/adults/downloads/fs-pneumo-hcp.pdf
- Pneumococcal Vaccine Timing for Adults http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/downloads/adult-vax-clinician-aid.pdf
- Prevnar13 Package Insert http://labeling.pfizer.com/showlabeling.aspx?id=501