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Pneumonia Vaccines

Pneumococcal pneumonia is not a cold or the flu; it is a bacterial infection in your lungs. It’s an illness that is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, common bacteria that can spread through the air from a cough or a sneeze or from close contact with an infected person.

Pneumococcal pneumonia symptoms appear quickly without warning and can be severe. Symptoms may include fever, chills, and chest pain with difficulty breathing. For some people, certain symptoms like cough and fatigue can last for weeks or longer. In severe cases, it can even put you in the hospital and sometimes lead to death.

An important thing to remember is that risk increases with age. The body’s immune system naturally weakens with age, making it harder for our bodies to fight off infections and diseases. Even if you're healthy and active and take good care of yourself, you could be at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia. Another important thing to know is that certain health factors, including smoking, and chronic conditions such as COPD, asthma, and diabetes, may also increase your risk for pneumococcal pneumonia.

Pneumococcal pneumonia (lung infection) is the most common serious form of pneumococcal disease. Symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Cough
  • Rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain

Older adults with pneumococcal pneumonia may experience confusion or low alertness, rather than the more common symptoms listed above.


Ask your doctor or pharmacist about vaccines that may help protect you.

There are two vaccines available to help prevent this disease:

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is recommended for all children younger than 5 years old, all adults 65 years or older, and people 6 years or older with certain risk factors


Prevnar 13

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is recommended for all adults 65 years or older. People 2 through 64 years old who are at high risk of the disease   ( should also receive PPSV23.

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