Vaccine against bacterial pneumonia has been available for many years. In fact, there are two vaccines and both are effective against a group of streptococcal bacteria that are collectively known as the pneumococcus.
These bacteria cause pneumonia and other severe illnesses, especially in children and people with weakened immune systems.
The two vaccines are called PCV (Prevnar-13) and PPSV (PPV, or Pneumovax-23). In several countries around the world, PCV vaccine has been part of the routine childhood vaccine program for over 10 years already and is usually given to children under the age of 2 years.
For a long time PPV-23 vaccine was only given to people with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of infection. More recently it has been recommended for all adults of 60 years and above.
Recommended schedules for adult vaccination against pneumococcus vary widely between nations. It became even more confusing when, on the basis of research study, the US recommended that adults should receive both of the vaccines, starting with Prevenar-13 and then one year later Pneumovax-23. This advice was subsequently reversed a few years later once it became apparent that the addition of Prevenar-13 wasn’t adding much benefit in countries where it was already part of the standard childhood vaccination program.
In most cases both of these vaccines are given just one time, because the composition of the vaccine always remains the same, unlike the influenza vaccine which changes every year and so must be repeated each year.
If you are interested in receiving the pneumonia vaccine and/or the influenza vaccine, please contact the clinic, but please note that this vaccine will not give any protection against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 disease.