Our expert says:
Dear Pneumococcal vaccine
Pneumococcal disease is the term used to describe infections caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Pneumococcal infection causes a broad range of disease, usually in older people and the very young. It is the most common cause of serious pneumonia. As well as infecting the lungs, pneumococcal bacteria can infect the blood stream.This type of infection is called invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD). It is responsible for causing the more serious consequences of pneumococcal infection such as septicaemia (blood poisoning), meningitis or a more serious form of pneumonia which are more likely to lead to death than non invasive infections.
Having a dose of 'simple, uncomplicated' bronchitis is not a reason to rush out and have this vaccination. If you are not 65 and older and do not have a compromised immune system, for any other medical reason, your bodies own immunity should cope well enough with the 'everyday' bugs that it encounters.
The pneumococcal vaccination is usually a 'one off' offering life long protection. Re - innoculation due to decreasing antibody level is uncommon.
In general side effects are minimal and localised (redness, some tenderness etc.), but, as is the case with all vaccinations, there are individuals that have significant sensitivity to foreign substances and can have more severe reactions.
The literature suggests that the vaccination offers anywhere from a 50 - 70% protection, but definately not 100%.
There is no specific time that one should have the shot and it can be given along with the flu vaccination, for example.
In my opinion healthly people should avoid having the vaccination.
The shot can only be administered by practitioners registered to administer.
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