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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Pneumonia (Pneumococcal) Vaccine: Who Should Take This Vaccination

Pneumococcal disease is referred to as any kind of infection that is caused by streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. The common name for this bacteria is the pneumococcus. These infections can cover a broad range of infections pertaining to ear, sinus, and bloodstream infections. A pneumococcal vaccine helps a person to eliminate the risk of any disease caused by this bacteria. Pneumococcal disease can be observed in young children. However, adults are more prone to developing major complications and illness from it.

India is among those countries where the highest number of deaths due to pneumococcal infections take place. Hence, a pneumococcal vaccine, namely, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been developed and introduced in major Indian states. The vaccine contains 10 serotypes. This version is available for Rs. 1600. While pneumococcal vaccine price in India 2019 for one containing 13 serotypes is around Rs. 3,600 per dose.

Who Is Eligible for Pneumonia Vaccine?

vaccine shot eligibility

Vaccine bottle, Credit: Canva

The pneumococcal vaccine is firmly recommended for all the children that belong in the age group of fewer than five years as well as those adults who are older than 65 years. It is also recommended for those people who are of 64 years of age and have underlying medical issues. All these people according to the AAP/CDC guidelines fall in the high-risk zone. Apart from them, the pneumococcal vaccine is also suggested to be used in all those adults who fall in the age group of 19 to 63 years. People who smoke or are suffering from respiratory diseases like asthma should also get the vaccine. Thus, this answers the commonly asked question, do adults need the pneumococcal vaccine?

Who Does Not Need the Pneumococcal Vaccine?

This vaccine should not be administered to people who have a medical history of allergic reactions to the vaccines. Apart from this, the usage of this vaccine in pregnant women is also not recommended. There is still a lot of gap in the studies that conclude the benefits of this vaccine in pregnant females. At the same time, there is no evidence about the pneumococcal vaccine being harmful to either the mother or the developing fetus. If you are trying to conceive but are at a high risk of contracting such an infection, then it is a good idea to get yourself vaccinated.

What Are the Side Effects of Pneumonia Vaccine?

pneumonia vaccine side effects

Woman feeling dizzy, Credit: Canva

This vaccine is safe for children, adults, and the elderly. It hardly causes people to experience any negative side effects. However, sometimes, a person can experience the side effects that are listed below.

  1. A consistent soreness on the area where the vaccine has been administered.

  2. Presence of redness at the area where the vaccine has been administered.

  3. Fever

  4. Rashes on the skin

  5. Allergic reactions, although they are very rare

  6. The person may also experience fatigue and headache

All these symptoms may go away after a while. But if you feel that they are getting worse or are not subsiding then its best to consult your doctor.

How Is Pneumococcal Vaccine Given?

vaccine administration

Vaccine shot, Credit: Canva

All the adults receive a single shot of this vaccine. You will find that the vaccine is injected into your body in the form of a liquid. Approximately 0.5 ml of the liquid solution will be injected into your deltoid muscle. Before the vaccine is administered to your body, the area, the deltoid muscle skin is disinfected and cleaned. For cleaning it alcohol is used. After the area is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the doctor injects the vaccine.

In children, this vaccine is administered in four phases of injections. It is important to note that those who are vaccinated before they have reached the age of 65 years should again get the shot at 65 years of age. People who have the following conditions should receive a second shot after a gap of five years after they have received the first shot.

  1. People with sickle cell disease or those whose spleen has been removed

  2. Patients who have undergone a transplant

  3. Patients suffering from kidney diseases

  4. People who are immunodeficient. It means that their immune systems ability to fight diseases is significantly lower as compared to that of healthy individuals.

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