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Pneumococcal vaccines for seniors – familydoctor.org Health Education

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Pneumococcal vaccines can protect you from contagious pneumonia that spreads from person to person through close contact. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs and can lead to many symptoms, including:

  • to cough
  • fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • chills
  • Chest pain
  • Apply mucus when you cough

Pneumonia can be very serious and life-threatening for seniors. This is especially true if you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or COPD. Pneumonia can also develop after suffering from flu or a respiratory virus like COVID-19. It is extremely important to keep up to date with flu shots every year in addition to your pneumococcal vaccines.

While PPSV23 and PCV13 do not protect against all types of pneumonia, they can reduce the likelihood that you will experience serious – and potentially life-threatening – complications from the disease.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that seniors who have not received either of the two pneumococcal vaccines receive a dose of PCV13 first and 6-12 months later a dose of PPSV23. The vaccines cannot be given at the same time. If you have recently received a dose of PPSV23, your doctor will wait at least one year to give you PCV13.

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