Pneumonia is one of the most common infection across the globe. This respiratory infection causes millions of hospitalisations and a huge number of deaths, especially in third world countries. Its universal presence and ability to infect people of all ages make it a perilous and threatening and respiratory disease.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a lung infection that infects either one or both the lungs. It is caused by a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. The pneumococcus Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium causes major cases of pneumonia. The acute respiratory tract infection causes the inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs in the lungs may fill with fluid or pus, causing multiple pneumonia symptoms. The common symptoms of pneumonia are fever, cough, chills, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
Who should consider Pneumonia vaccination?
The following groups of people should consider getting the Pneumonia vaccination.
- Adults who have attained their age of 65 years and older should get the Pneumonia vaccination. At such age, the immunity is not capable of fighting against the infection all by itself.
- People (More than two years old) who have a chronic heart or lung disorder like congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, spinal fluid leaks, chronic liver disease, cardiomyopathy, chronic bronchitis, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- People (More than two years old) who have spleen dysfunction or asplenia (lack of spleen function) blood malignancy (leukemias), kidney failure, multiple myeloma, etc.
Which are the types of pneumonia vaccine available on NHS?
1. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)
This vaccine is used to vaccinate children under two years old. It’s also known by its brand name ‘Prevenar 13.’
2. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV)
This vaccine is given to adults aged 65 and over and to people who are at high risk due to long-term health conditions.