According to the CDC, “Viruses, bacteria, and fungi can all cause pneumonia. In the United States, common causes of viral pneumonia are influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). A common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). However, clinicians are not always able to find out which germ caused someone to get sick with pneumonia.”
Ages 18 and under: The CDC recommends Prevnar 13® for all children younger than 2 years old and for people 2 through 18 with certain medical conditions*
Ages 19 to 64 with certain medical conditions or risk factors: For those who have never received a conjugate pneumonia vaccine (Prevnar 13, Prevnar 20®, Vaxneuvance®) or who are not sure what they have received, the CDC recommends getting either:
Ages 65 and above: For those who have never received a conjugate pneumonia vaccine (Prevnar 13, Prevnar 20, Vaxneuvance) or who are not sure what they have received, the CDC recommends getting either:
- 1 dose of Prevnar 20* or
- Vaxneuvance followed by a dose of Pneumovax 23*
- If you have received Prevnar 13 in the past, the CDC recommends receiving Pneumovax 23 as well.*
To learn more about the vaccines that are right for you, talk to your pharmacist, health care provider or visit the CDC website.
The CDC reports, “These vaccines protect against many, but not all types of pneumococcal bacteria. Also, the protection from these vaccines is good but but not 100%. For these two reasons, there is still a chance someone can develop pneumococcal disease after vaccination.
- Anyone with a severe allergy to any part of any pneumonia vaccine should not get that vaccine.
- Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any of the following should not get Prevnar 20, Prevnar 13 or Vaxneuvance:
- An earlier pneumococcal conjugate vaccine called PCV7 (or Prevnar®)
- Any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid (for example, DTaP)
- Do not get a Pneumovax 23 shot if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to that vaccine.
For information on pneumonia vaccination recommendations, visit:
According to the CDC, some of the most common side effects that may occur are muscle pain, fatigue, headache, and redness or pain at the site of the vaccination.
Medicare Part B covers preventive care vaccines for flu, COVID-19, pneumonia and hepatitis B at no cost. Medicare Part D covers preventive care vaccines for shingles and Tdap at no cost. Certain other vaccines, such as vaccines used for treatment purposes or vaccines not recommend by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), may be covered with cost sharing. Visit Medicare.gov to learn more.
- For those 65 years of age or older receiving the vaccine for the first time:
You will need one to two doses of the vaccine depending on the manufacturer. Two doses usually require a one-year separation. This may vary for patients with immunocompromising conditions, cochlear implants and cerebrospinal fluid leaks. See the source's table on page 2 for details, but the minimum interval between shots is 8 weeks. Ultimately, those with such conditions should consult their doctor.
- For those who had only one pneumonia vaccine in their lifetime:
You may now need an additional vaccination.
- For those who had the pneumonia vaccine before they were 65:
You may now need one or two additional vaccinations.
*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/downloads/pneumo-vaccine-timing.pdf
There is currently no wait time between COVID-19 vaccines and pneumonia vaccines. Both immunizations can be given on the same day.*
*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/interim-considerations-us.html#timing-spacing-interchangeability
*FOR VACCINATION AVAILABILITY: Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply.
*FOR NO-COST PNEUMONIA SHOTS: Pneumonia shots available when immunizing pharmacist or MinuteClinic® practitioner is on duty, while supplies last. Eligible patients may not pay any copayments unless otherwise required by their plan. A prescription may be needed in certain states.
*FOR PHYSICIAN ASSOCIATES: In select states. Visit MinuteClinic.com for details.
*FOR VACCINES OFFERED: Availability varies by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply. Available when immunizing pharmacist or MinuteClinic® health care provider is on duty.
*FOR PREVNAR 20, PREVNAR 13, VAXNEUVANCE AND PNEUMOVAX 23: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pneumococcal Vaccination: What Everybody Should Know. Accessed March 24, 2022. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/public/index.html
*FOR THE PNEUMONIA VACCINE IS SIMPLY YOUR BEST PROTECTION: CDC website. Pneumococcal disease/Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/prevention.html