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Pneumococcal Pneumonia

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Getting the pneumococcal vaccine is the main way you can reduce your chances of getting pneumococcal pneumonia. Vaccines are available for children and adults.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you get the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine if you are in any of the following groups:

  • You are 65 years old or older
  • You have a serious long-term health problem such as heart disease, sickle cell disease, alcoholism, lung disease (not including asthma), diabetes, or liver cirrhosis
  • Your resistance to infection is lowered due to
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Lymphoma, leukemia, or other cancers
    • Cancer treatment with X-rays or medicines
    • Treatment with long-term steroid medicines 
    • Bone marrow or organ transplant
    • Kidney failure or kidney syndrome
    • Damaged spleen or no spleen
  • You are an Alaskan Native or from certain Native American populations

CDC also recommends that all babies and children younger than 59 months old get the pneumococcal vaccine. Children over 24 months old who are at high risk of getting pneumococcal disease and adults with risk factors may receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.

Contact your healthcare provider to find out whether you or your child should be vaccinated to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia.

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Last Updated February 16, 2011