Health

How Often Should You Get a Pneumonia Shot?

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs of one or two lungs. The air sacs may get swollen with fluid which can lead to coughs with pus, fever, chills, and breathing problems. 

Pneumonia can be caused because of various organisms such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

The seriousness of Pneumonia on health can differ from mild to life-threatening. This infection severely impacts infants, children, elderly adults, and also people with certain other health issues or weaker immune systems.

How Often Do You Get a Pneumonia Shot? 8 Interesting Facts
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1. What Are The Causes of Pneumonia?

There are a variety of types of pneumonia. Some varieties of pneumonia can be acquired by coming in contact with a person or an object that has the pneumonia infection. 

While some other varieties that are not contagious get acquired in a body from the environment.  

Pneumonia is classified into two different types: One is bacterial and the other one is viral. Bacterial pneumonia is more common and also causes a more severe infection than other viral ones.

The infection can be caused by various viruses and bacteria but our body usually protects us from the bacteria getting into the lungs. However, with a healthy body, bacteria sometimes can weaken your immune system.

Based on the types of germs that cause it and from where you get it, pneumonia is classified as follows:

1.1 Community-Acquired Pneumonia:

It is the most common type of pneumonia and occurs outside a healthcare center or a hospital. It may be caused by:

  • Bacteria: Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common bacterial pneumonia found in the United States. This type of pneumonia acquires into the body either independently or after you have a cold or fever.  It can affect your lungs, a condition known as lobar pneumonia.

  • Bacteria like Organism: Pneumonia can be brought into your body by mycoplasma pneumonia. This variety usually causes milder symptoms than other varieties of pneumonia. 

  • Viruses: Pneumonia can also be gotten from several viruses that cause colds and flu too. Usually, children under the age of five get this infection from viruses. Viral infection is not considered severe but they can become serious sometimes.  COVID-19 is one of the important examples of a viral infection that very severely impacts the body. 

  • Fungi: Fungi pneumonia is acquired in the weak immune or chronic disease body. This type can come from soil or bird wastes and vary from different geographical locations. 

1.2 Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia: 

This type of bacterial pneumonia develops during a hospital stay and is more severe than other varieties as this hospital bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics.

1.3 Ventilator-Acquired Pneumonia:

VAP happens when an individual develops pneumonia because of using a ventilator.

1.4 Aspiration-Acquired Pneumonia:

Aspiration-acquired pneumonia happens when you inhale infection-causing bacteria that enter your lungs through foods, drinks, or saliva. If you face difficulty in swallowing or feel tired after taking drugs, medicines, or alcohol then you are at risk of having aspiration-acquired pneumonia. 

How Often Do You Get a Pneumonia Shot? 8 Interesting Facts
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2. What Are The Symptoms of Pneumonia?

The symptoms of pneumonia vary with the cause. You might get mild to severe symptoms and the symptoms might differ from age to age. 

There are two different types of pneumonia, bacterial and viral. So, let’s first see 

2.1 The symptoms of Bacterial Pneumonia:

The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can occur suddenly or slowly. Following are some of the symptoms:

  • High fever

  • Coughing red, green, or yellow mucus

  • Difficulty in respiration

  • Heartbeats rate increases

  • Chill in the body

  • Tiredness

  • Stomach or chest pain. Especially when you are coughing or taking long breaths

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nails, skin, and lips turn bluish

  • Confusion

2.2 The Symptoms of Viral Pneumonia

The viral pneumonia symptoms typically occur over several days. You might observe all the above-mentioned bacterial pneumonia symptoms but you might be able to see the following additional mentioned symptoms:

  • Tiredness

  • Headache

  • Dry Cough

  • And muscle aches

How Often Do You Get a Pneumonia Shot? 8 Interesting Facts
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3. What Are The Preventions Of Pneumonia?

Following are some of the ways through which you can prevent Pneumonia:

3.1 Get Vaccine:

Various vaccines are available to protect from certain types of pneumonia. Consulting a doctor before getting the shot is very important even if you previously had pneumonia vaccines. The vaccination guidelines keep on changing so it’s better to make sure about your vaccination status with your doctors. 

3.2 Make sure that Children get vaccinated:

The most important way to prevent getting pneumonia is to get kids under the age of two to five to receive pneumonia vaccines. Young children usually get severely impacted by this infarction so doctors always advise different types of vaccines to kids. 

Not only this, doctors also advise a flu vaccine for babies that are only 6 months old.

3.4 Maintain Good Hygiene:

Try to keep yourself clean and your surroundings as much as possible. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that will help us to prevent respiratory infections which can further develop into pneumonia. Don’t forget to wash your hands before your meals. 

3.5 Avoid Smoking:

Smoking damages your lungs which will naturally lead to the loss of the natural defence of your lungs to fight against the infection.

3.6 Maintain a proper immune system:

Try to get proper sleep, always eat a healthy meal, and don’t forget to do some physical exercises. 

4. What Are The Types Of Pneumonia Vaccines? 

A pneumonia vaccine is not going to prevent your pneumonia but it might help you to prevent invasive pneumococcal diseases such as endocarditis, bacteremia, meningitis, and empyema.

There are two different types of pneumonia vaccines available. So, the type of vaccine an individual gets depends on their age, smoking habits, and the current status of their health. 

So, the two types of vaccines are properly described below:

4.1 Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13): 

Healthcare providers recommend this type of vaccine to young children, individuals with certain other health problems, and to certain elderly adults (over 65 years old).  

PCV13 prevents about 13 different types of bacterial pneumonia in kids and other adults as per the CDC trusted sources. 

4.2 Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV23):

Healthcare providers recommend this type of vaccine to individuals over the age of 65 or to smokers and individuals with other health issues. 

PPSV23 prevents about 23 different types of bacterial pneumonia and protects elderly adults as per the CDC trusted sources. 

5. How Effective Are Pneumonia Vaccines?

So, the pneumonia vaccines can’t help to prevent pneumonia but certainly, they can help to reduce invasive pneumococcal diseases. 

A dose of PCV13 can prevent pneumococcal diseases which affects around 8 newborn babies out of 10.

The vaccine protects elderly adults over 65 years (about 45 people out of 100) from pneumococcal diseases.

Furthermore, PCV13 immunizes elderly adults over 65 years (about 75 people out of 100) against invasive pneumococcal diseases.

 Also, a dose of PPSV23 immunizes a healthy person against invasive pneumococcal diseases.  

6. How Often Do You Get A Pneumonia Shot?

Pneumonia can be caused either by viruses or bacteria. This infection is contagious too so it’s better to take proper precautions when you’re interacting with an infected person. 

There are certain pneumonia shots available. But they can’t be of any help to directly cure pneumonia but these shots can help in the prevention of pneumococcal diseases. 

But, how often do you get pneumonia shots? Well, that depends on the general health condition and an individual’s age.

How Often Do You Get a Pneumonia Shot? 8 Interesting Facts
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7. Are There Any Side Effects Of Pneumonia Shots?

So, although people who receive pneumonia shots do not experience any side effects, yes sometimes there are also certain rare conditions where you might experience mild side effects.

The side effects are not serious to worry about as they will go away within a few days after you get the shot.

The side effects you might experience after getting PCV13 are:

  • Fever

  • Irritation

  • Loss of appetite

  • A little swelling, redness, or irritation on the injected spot

  • Tiredness, Headache

Next, the side effects you might experience after getting PPSV23 are:

  • Tiredness in the body

  • Fever

  • Muscle aches

  • Swelling, redness, and pain on the injected spot

Healthcare providers usually give the PCV13 vaccine along with the flu shot to an individual. Also, remember that kids have a chance of getting a seizure after these shots. 

Before getting any of these shots don’t forget to first consult with a doctor. 

8. Who Should Avoid Getting Pneumonia Shots?

People who got life-threatening allergic reactions from the earlier doses or the older doses such as PCV7 and diphtheria toxoid must avoid getting the other types of pneumonia shots.

People who have any other serious health issues or get an adverse effect from any components of the vaccine are suggested to consult with a doctor before getting any shots. 

9. Bottom Line

Identifying the symptoms of pneumonia sometimes gets difficult. There are several symptoms and numerous causes of this infection which makes it more difficult to understand. 

Pneumonia - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Fever, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, coughing bloody and yellow mucus, are a few symptoms of Pneumonia that might vary from mild to life-threatening. If you notice any of these symptoms then you are recommended to consult a doctor as soon as possible. 

An undergraduate student who is crazy about knowing the world. Hi, I'm Monali Gupta, and I like to write on a variety of topics as they both interest me and teach me about new and interesting things.

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