August 2022 Mall Walker Newsletter
- July 27, 2022
Pneumonia and Pneumonia Vaccines
Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs of one or both lungs, which may then fill with fluid or pus. Many different germs―bacteria, bacteria-like organisms, viruses and fungi―can cause pneumonia.
The symptoms of pneumonia, which can be mild (“walking pneumonia”) to severe and life-threatening, usually include chest pain with difficulty breathing, a persistent cough with phlegm, a persistent fever of 102° F or higher, chills, sweating and fatigue.
The risk for and severity of pneumococcal pneumonia increases with chronic conditions such as COPD, heart disease, asthma and diabetes. Risk also increases with age, and adults over 65 are 10 times more likely to need hospital care for pneumococcal pneumonia than adults under age 50.
The CDC recommends that all adults age 65 or older get one dose of the PCV13 (Prevnar 13) vaccine (which protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria), followed at least one year later by one dose of the PPSV23 (Pneumovax 23) vaccine (which protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria). The vaccines do not contain live bacteria and can be given any time of year. Take time to talk with your doctor about your risk and prevention plan.