Pneumonia Vaccine: Types and Who Should Get it – Bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, exposure to chemicals or physical damage to the lungs can cause pneumonia. Pneumonia is divided into three community acquired pneumonia (CAP) or community pneumonia, hospital acquired pneumonia (HAP) and ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP), distinguished based on where the source of infection from pneumonia.
Pneumonia that often occurs and can be serious and even death is community pneumonia. To prevent acute inflammatory diseases in this pulmonary tissue, you can do a vaccine.
The pneumonia vaccine is one of the important vaccines to give to infants, children, and older persons. This is because someone who has not received the vaccine will be susceptible to various diseases that can cause dangerous complications, even death.
The pneumonia vaccine is a vaccine given to protect the body from pneumonia and other infectious diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcal bacteria.
The administration of this vaccine serves to stimulate the immune system in producing antibodies or endurance that can fight diseases due to pneumococcal bacterial infections.
Pneumococcal infection is a disease caused by streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Generally, the disease causes:
- Bakteremia or infection of the bloodstream
- Septicaemia or bacterial blood poisoning
- Meningitis or inflammation of the brain membranes
In addition to pneumonia, the pneumonia vaccine can also protect the body from meningitis and other severe infections, such as bacteremia and sepsis. These diseases can cause dangerous complications, ranging from respiratory failure, paralysis, brain damage, and even death.
Pneumonia Vaccine Types
The Pneumococcal vaccine is commonly called PCV (Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine). The PCV13 vaccine (Prevnar’s trademark) is capable of providing immunity to 13 strains of bacteria or individual bacteria of the Streptococcus pneumoniae species.
Streptococcus pneumoniae is the bacteria that most often causes pneumococcal disease in humans. If bacteria enter the bloodstream it results in meningitis and if it attacks the lungs it could result in a disease known as pneumonia.
Vaccines can protect humans for up to a period of three years. The PCV13 vaccine is commonly given to infants and children under the age of 2.
Unlike vaccines for children, which are coupled wit proteins to enhance immune effects, the PPSV23 vaccine contains polysaccharide molecules designed in such a way that it resembles part of pneumococcal bacteria. This aims to induce better immunity.
The PPSV23 vaccine is aimed at older perosns aged 65 and over, or ages 2 to 64 with special conditions recommended by a doctor. The vaccine is also recommended for older persons aged 19-64 who have a smo**king habit.
The PPSV23 vaccine is administered at a single dose or one-time administration only. Typically, this vaccine is administered after a person has obtained one dose of PCV13. It aims to optimize the resulting immunity. Based on the recommendations of the A**dult Immunization Task Force, it is recommended that older persons get 1 pcv12 injection, then PPSV23 in the following 2 months, and continued every 3 years.
For developing countries, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) bacteria are the main causes of pneumonia and meningitis.
Hib bacterial infections occur in 90 percent of children under the age of 5. Administration of the Hib vaccine in children should be administered gradually from the age of 2 months, 3 months, 4 months and boosters given between the age of 15 months to 18 months.
Who should have the pneumonia vaccine?
Pneumococcal infection can strike anyone. But there are groups of people who are at higher risk of developing this infection and potentially experience more severe complications when experiencing it.
Those higher-risk groups of people are advised to get the pneumococcal vaccine. They are:
- Elderly over 65 years old
- Children and older persons with chronic health problems, such as heart disease or kidney failure