5 Things to Know About the Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumonia is considered a life-threatening illness that contributes to the death of over 60,000 people each year in the United States. More than three million individuals are also diagnosed with the condition every year within the country. The condition causes the lungs to become inflamed and is most often caused by a type of bacteria that infects the lungs. Age is one of the most important risk factors associated with a higher incidence of the infection, with at least 33% of all cases reported in people who are aged 65 and older.

Protection against pneumonia, as well as many related conditions, starts with the Pneumococcal vaccine. The vaccine has been deemed effective at providing a significant reduction in bacterial infections that lead to the development of pneumonia and protects against a range of other medical conditions that can sometimes turn out to be serious and even life-threatening.

Here are five important facts that everyone should know about Pneumococcal vaccination.

1. Education About the Pneumococcal Vaccine Is Readily Available

While many people do not realize the importance of the Pneumococcal vaccine, education about the vaccination and the diseases that it protects against are readily available.

The internet is also exceptionally resourceful when it comes to finding out more about the vaccine. Thus, no person should really use inadequate education about pneumococcal diseases as an excuse to avoid getting the vaccination to assist in protecting themselves against these infectious diseases.

A simple search on Google can easily help a patient get the information they need on the vaccine, as well as the diseases that they will be protected against.

2. Pneumococcal Vaccine Protects Against Multiple Bacterium Strains

Pneumococcal disease is a term that refers to several illnesses that are caused by an infection that occurs when the human body is invaded by pathogenic microorganisms. These microorganisms are often referred to as pneumonia bacteria.

The PCV13 Pneumococcal vaccine can assist in protecting the body against 13 of the bacterium species that are known to cause the most severe forms of pneumonia and other related pneumococcal infectious diseases. The other vaccine, called PPSV23, can offer an additional level of protection that helps the body build an immunity to 23 additional bacterium strains that cause such diseases. Therefore, a combination of both vaccines is often advised for a maximum level of protection.

3. The Vaccine Does Have Some Side-Effects

Pneumococcal vaccines are generally considered safe and effective, but it is important to note that there are some people who do experience a couple of side-effects after they have had a shot. Before considering the potential side-effects, it should be noted that the Pneumococcal vaccine does not contain live strains of the pneumococcal bacterium species that the vaccine protects against.

Possible side-effects that some people do experience when they have had a Pneumococcal vaccine can include:

  • A mild fever develops in some patients
  • Some people may find that they lose their appetite for a few days following the vaccination.
  • Muscles may become sore in some cases.
  • Irritability may occur, along with fussiness, especially in children.

Additionally, the area where the shot is administered may also swell up and may become sore. Redness may also surround the area.

These side-effects generally only last for a couple of days and then goes away on their own. The side-effects listed above are exceptionally rare, with less than 1% of people who had the vaccine experiencing any of these adverse events.

4. Who Should Get A Pneumococcal Vaccination

Children and adults are the most common to suffer from infectious diseases, so these would be the main category of patients to obtain a Pneumococcal vaccination. Those adults who are over the age of 64 are especially advised to get vaccinated against pneumonia and other types of pneumococcal diseases, as they are at the highest risk for the development of life-threatening complications when they do develop such an illness.

At the same time, it is crucial to understand that some people may not be good candidates for these vaccinations. This would include those individuals who are allergic to the Pneumococcal vaccination. People with certain existing medical conditions may also not qualify for the vaccine – a healthcare provider would be able to analyze a patient’s current health and determine if they can obtain a Pneumococcal vaccination.

5. Pneumococcal Vaccine Is Covered by Some Insurance Plans

Medicare is known to provide coverage for Pneumonia shots – this is part of the Medicare Part B program. Two Pneumococcal vaccines are covered by the Medicare Plan B. The first shot is provided to assist in protecting against the bacterium that is known to cause severe diseases. After a one-year period, a second shot is also covered by Medicare health insurance plans.



Pneumonia and other related pneumococcal diseases are generally common among the worldwide population and can cause serious complications to develop. Prevention is the best solution, which is why it is highly recommended that people undergo a Pneumococcal vaccination to help their bodies build up a defense against the bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms that are known to cause these diseases.