Pneumococcal Vaccination

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pneumococcal vaccination can prevent severe illness and death from pneumococcal disease. Dr. Edward Hill discusses pneumococcal vaccination in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Pneumococcal disease refers to any infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. These bacteria commonly affect the lungs, causing pneumonia, and can also affect the sinuses, ears and other parts of the airway, causing sinusitis, ear infections or upper respiratory tract infections. These infections are generally not life threatening.

However, in some people, pneumococcal disease can be severe and life threatening. These are usually cases that affect the brain, causing meningitis, or spread through the bloodstream, causing sepsis. These cases of severe pneumococcal disease, also referred to as invasive pneumococcal disease, can be decreased by getting vaccinated.

Children and adults older than 65 years have a higher chance of getting pneumococcal disease. Therefore, vaccination efforts are focused on these two groups of people.

Two types of pneumococcal vaccines are currently recommended in the United States. One is the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, called Pneumovax 23. The other is the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, called Prevnar 13.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.