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Who Should Receive the Pneumonia Vaccine?

| Articles | April 12, 2014

Pneumonia is a common pulmonary disease and it has a high incidence in children and elderly people. Although pneumonia can also occur in adults, people with a good general health and a strong immune system usually develop milder forms of the disease. Pneumonia affects around 3 million people in the United States each year. Although there are medical treatments for pneumonia, some forms of the disease are still considered to be life-threatening. Statistics indicate that almost 5 percent of hospitalized patients diagnosed with pneumonia die as a result of complication.

Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or mycoplasmas. When pneumonia is caused by infection with viruses, the disease is milder and medical treatment is not always necessary. However, if pneumonia is caused by infection with bacteria, appropriate medical treatment is required for overcoming the disease. Even if the disease is discovered in time, pneumonia can be difficult to fully overcome with the means of medical treatments available today. The most common form of treatment for pneumonia involves the administration of antibiotics. Due to the fact that bacteria and viruses have become resistant to common antibiotics, medical treatments for pneumonia are no longer very effective.

Considering the fact that some forms of pneumonia are difficult to treat, it is best to focus on preventing the occurrence of the disease. Pneumonia vaccines have proved to be very effective in the prevention of the disease. Pneumonia vaccines provide protection against a wide range of bacteria and viruses that are known to cause not only pneumonia, but also many other infectious diseases. The most common forms of pneumonia are caused due to infection with bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. When pneumonia is caused by infection with these particular bacteria, the disease is called pneumococcal pneumonia.

Pneumococcal pneumonia is a serious disease and affects a wide range of people. Statistics reveal that in the United States there are more than 200 000 new cases of pneumococcal pneumonia each year and many people eventually die from the disease. Pneumonia vaccines offer people immunity against pneumococcal infectious agents and can prevent the occurrence of many diseases: sinusitis, bronchitis, emphysema, etc.

Pneumonia vaccines are recommended to a wide category of persons. People with internal disorders, people with weak immune system, people with chronic pulmonary obstructive diseases, people who have suffered surgery or prolonged medical treatments are strongly advised to have the pneumonia vaccine administered to them, as they are exposed to a high risk of developing the disease. Pneumonia vaccines are also recommended to very young children (ages over 2) and elderly people (ages over 60).

For most people, a single dose of the pneumonia vaccine can offer a long-term protection against infectious agents. However, people with special conditions and elderly people need to take the pneumonia vaccine periodically. After receiving the initial dose of pneumonia vaccine, some people need to take another vaccine every 3-4 years.

Pneumonia vaccines are very safe and they have mild side-effects. The common side-effects that can occur after the pneumonia vaccine are: temporary swelling, irritation or local pain. Pneumonia vaccines are the best means of fighting against pulmonary infectious diseases and they are strongly recommended to anyone.

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