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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Pneumonia Vaccine

Pneumonia Vaccine

Alternate Names : Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine, PPV

Overview & Description | Preparation & Expectations | Home Care and Complications

The pneumonia vaccine is given to children or adults at high risk for pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia. Pneumococcal disease is caused by certain bacteria that live in the nose, sinuses, ears, and throat. Anyone can get pneumococcal disease, but most healthy people do not get severely ill or die from it.

The pneumonia vaccine protects against discomforts and serious, sometimes fatal, complications that can occur when the bacteria spread in the body, such as:

  • ear infections, known as acute otitis media
  • pneumonia
  • bacteremia, a serious blood infection
  • meningitis, an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord
  • Who is a candidate for the procedure?

    The U.S. government recommends the vaccine for:

  • all people 65 years or older
  • adults and children with chronic lung or heart problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD
  • people treated in the last year for cystic fibrosis, kidney disease, anemia, severe asthma, or chronic metabolic illnesses, such as diabetes
  • people with weak immune systems, such as those on chemotherapy or a persons who are HIV-positive
  • residents of a skilled nursing facility or extended care facility
  • Alaskan natives and some Native American peoples
  • A pregnant woman should discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine with her healthcare provider.

    How is the procedure performed?

    A shot is given into the muscle of the upper thigh or arm. Usually one shot is enough. Occasionally a second shot is recommended at a 6-year interval for people with certain chronic conditions:


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    Pneumonia Vaccine: Preparation & Expectations

    Author: Francesca Coltrera, BA
    Reviewer: Gail Hendrickson, RN, BS
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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