Krupa Shah, MD, MPH
University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry
Most people are aware of the flu vaccine. Fewer know that there is another important vaccine available – to prevent pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection and inflammation of the lungs. There is a high rate of sickness, hospitalization, and death associated with pneumonia in older adults who are 65 years old or above.
We’ve reviewed how to prevent pneumonia before, but here is some more information on why older adults should consider getting vaccinated as a way to prevent pneumonia.
Vaccines to prevent pneumonia are called pneumococcal vaccines. These vaccines can prevent or reduce the severity of pneumococcal pneumonia, a very common cause of bacterial pneumonia.
Two types of pneumococcal vaccines are currently available to prevent pneumonia in older adults.
- Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13 or Prevnar 13®) and
- Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV23 or Pneumovax®)