—What Is Pneumonia? How Do We Prevent It?—

There are all kinds of ways for pneumonia to infect your lungs. It may come from a virus, bacteria or fungus— maybe a combination of any of them.  The infection inflames air sacs in one or both lungs. Take it seriously, because if the infection takes hold, filling the air sacs with fluid, you’ll be struggling to breathe. It could be life-threatening. Weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable, and that’s why people 65 and older should be immunized, because it can be quite severe in both the elderly and children and infants under the age of two.

 

—An ounce or prevention may be the best course instead of awaiting a pound of cure, because pneumonia shots are readily available nowadays, offered in pharmacies and medical offices in most communities. It’s not a bad idea to get immunized twice if haven’t had one before—in fact, it is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)— if you are elderly or your immune system is compromised. One is a single-dose shot that will last a lifetime. The other is administered sequentially. It all depends on the type of pneumonia you are protecting yourself from. —

 

Prevnar 13 Versus Pneumovax 23

Which Vaccine Is Best for You?

Which one of these two vaccines—Prevnar 13 vs. Pneumovax 23— is the one for you? It is not a matter of eeny, meeny, miny, moe for you as the patient when it comes to choosing the most effective one to protect you from this breath stealing invader. It’s up to your doctor to decide which is the right one for you. These are currently two FDA-approved vaccines effective against pneumococcal disease and you’ll need to take one or the other if you’ve had a history of any of the following:

  • a history of smoking
  • a history of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or asthma
  • a history of diseases that ay compromise your immune system like diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hepatitis or HIV
  • a history of smoking
  • and if you have had pneumonia in the past

Which one is right for you?

Pneumovax 23 …

The number 23 means it is effective against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria. It should be administered within a muscle (intramuscularly) or just beneath the skin (subcutaneously). This is the recommended vaccine for candidates between the ages of two and 64, provided they meet any of the following criteria:

  • IF you are 65 years of age or older even you have received another pneumonia vaccine
  • IF you are a smoker 19 years of age or older
  • IF you have been diagnosed with chronic liver disease
  • IF you have had an organ transplant
  • IF you have received a cochlear implant
  • IF you have had chronic conditions such as COPD, diabetes, heart disease, nephritic syndrome and renal failure.

Prevnar 13 …

As the number 13 suggests, Prevnar 13 is a vaccine for adults 18 and older to repel 13 Streptococcus pneumoniae strains of the invasive pneumococcal pneumonia. t should always be administered intramuscularly. People who meet the following criteria should receive this vaccine:

  • IF you are an adult 50 years and older
  • IF you have not previously received Prevnar 13 and are between the ages of 19 and 64
  • IF your immune system has been compromised by chronic conditions
  • IF you suffer from asplenia, an abnormally functioning spleen
  • IF you have a cochlear implant
  • IF you have a cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • IF you are an infant or child six weeks of age or older

What separates Pneumovax 23 from Prevnar 13 are indicated by the numbers — the strains of pneumococcal bacteria from which each is able to protect the vaccinated party. The patient’s age and kinds of risk determine which of the vaccinations to administer. Both should be provided by a specialist or at a local pharmacy. A prescription is not always required.   

When Should You See a Doctor?

Symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Fever, sweating and trembling chills
  • Chest pain when breathing or coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • A phlegm producing cough
  • Decrease in mental awareness or confusion in elderly patients
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Excessive fatigue