1 thought on “Pneumonia Shots Update

  1. We have been telling patients for years that once they have received the adult version of the pneumonia shot (Pneumovax 23) typically given at age 65 that they will never need a booster. However, that advice may no longer necessarily be true. There is a new vaccine (Prevnar 13) that seems to give better protection against the top 13 strains of pneumonia due to the pneumoccus bacteria. Pediatricians have been giving this formulation to children for a number of years and have seen a sharp decline in the number of cases of pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis that in children are often due to infection with pneumococcus. Prevnar 13 has recently been approved by the FDA for use in adults 50 and above. The CDC is awaiting the results of more data including a large study in the Netherlands due to be completed by the end of 2013 before making any recommendations about its routine use in all adults. We presently have the vaccine and are offering it to our patients 50 and above who have never had a pneumonia vaccine and as a booster shot for those over the age of 65 – particularly those who may have a weak immune system or otherwise seem predisposed to pneumonia. For those who have already received the standard Pneumovax – 23 it is recommended that they wait at least a year before getting the newer Prevnar – 13.

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