October 21, 2018
Pneumococcal Vaccine
Wellness Tip

Pneumococcal Vaccine

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you’re 50 or over and have not been vaccinated against pneumococcal disease, talk with your doctor about getting the improved pneumococcal vaccine (Prevnar), which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved for this age group.

Pneumococcal infection—by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae—is a common cause of pneumonia (especially in older adults) as well as meningitis, blood infections and middle-ear infections.

Americans 65 and older, along with younger people with certain chronic diseases, have long been advised to get an older type of the pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax). The newer vaccine gives longer-lasting immunity. Already used in adults in Europe, it has been given to children in the U.S. and Canada for several years.