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Do You Need The Pneumococcal Vaccine?

Published by Nicole Porter on

Warm weather is here! ☀️ We hope you’re getting some time to be outdoors and appreciate the beautiful spring season! With the change in weather, however, you may not be thinking as much about health issues and vaccinations, so we wanted to take a moment to remind you that even as the season changes, the risk of illnesses such as pneumococcal disease still exists.

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with the “Tripledemic” we experienced this past winter, brought along with it an increase in pneumococcal pneumonia (a type of pneumococcal disease) cases, reminding us that this disease has the potential to become serious, can disrupt your life for weeks, and even land you in the hospital.

So this week we will be revisiting the topic of pneumococcal disease. Please take a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions below, and consider if you or any of your family members are at risk and would benefit from getting vaccinated.

What Is Pneumococcal Disease?
Pneumococcal disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, which can cause a range of serious infections such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), meningitis (infection of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord), and bloodstream infections. It can affect people of all ages, but it is most dangerous for young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

How does Pneumococcal Disease spread?

Pneumococcal bacteria spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, and close contact. People can carry the bacteria in their nose and throat without being sick and spread the bacteria to others. 

How can you help prevent Pneumococcal Disease?

The good news is that there are vaccines available to protect against pneumococcal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults aged 65 years and older receive a pneumococcal vaccine, as well as younger adults with certain risk factors such as smoking, or medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or HIV. (For a more complete list of risk factors, please refer to this link: groups at increased risk for pneumococcal disease)

If you believe that you or a loved one may be a good candidate for the pneumococcal vaccine, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider to determine whether it is recommended for you. Getting vaccinated not only protects you from pneumococcal disease but also helps to protect those around you, especially those who are most vulnerable. By getting vaccinated, you are not only taking care of yourself, but you are also contributing to the health and well-being of your community!

And don’t forget: Getting the influenza (flu) vaccine every year and making sure that you are up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccines also helps protect against pneumococcal disease. People who get sick with the flu have an increased chance of developing pneumococcal disease and current research on COVID-19 suggests that people with severe COVID infections are more likely to end up with pneumococcal bacterial infections such as pneumonia.

For more information about pneumococcal disease and the pneumococcal vaccine visit:

CDC – Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal Disease in Adults and the Vaccines to Prevent It

Pneumococcal Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know