Adults aged over 65 years are at increased risk of pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Other people at risk include people who have suffered previous respiratory infection, and people with reduced immunity from a variety of causes. The consequences can be serious and life-threatening, but infection is preventable.
Two completely different types of vaccine are available. The polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax) has been used in adults over 65 years of age for many years – and is available free of charge to to those eligible for NHS care. It covers 23 strains of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria. However, this vaccination programme has made very little difference to the rate of occurrence of pneumonia.
The second vaccine uses different technology to provide more powerful protection: a conjugated vaccine called Prevenar 13 protects against 13 strains of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, and is much more effective. This vaccine is given routinely to infants as part of the standard childhood immunisation programme and has had a major impact on reducing the overall burden of pneumonia in children. Although it costs significantly more, our view is that the extra protection is well worthwhile, and this vaccine should also be given to adults. We are therefore pleased to offer it privately to adults who are interested in protection. When given in addition to the polysaccharide vaccine, Prevenar should ideally be given first.
As one of the UK’s most respected independent specialist medical centres, we are able to offer both pneumonia vaccines. If you think you might benefit from protection, why not come along to discuss vaccination with our doctors nurses. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the pneumonia vaccine.
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs, usually caused as a result of infection. The inflammation causes the tiny air spaces inside the lungs to fill with fluid and inflammatory cells, making it harder for the lungs to work properly. Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria are among the commonest causes of infection.
Pneumonia vaccines protect against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria.
We offer both types of currently available pneumonia vaccine.
Our preferred choice is Prevenar 13, which benefits from advanced conjugate technology, making it much more effective than any of the vaccines previously available. Since its introduction to the UK childhood vaccine schedule in 2006, cases of invasive pneumococcal disease have declined by over 56%, with 2,800 fewer hospital admissions in children under five in England and Wales.
In October 2011, the vaccine’s licence was expanded to include adults over 50, with the expectation of similar benefits, and we believe Prevenar 13 should be used more widely.
Prevent 13 can be administered to adults of any age who wish to be protected against pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria.
It is especially recommended for people who have had their spleen removed, and people aged 65 and over.
The most common side effect is soreness around the site of the injection.
The pneumonia vaccination is given as an injection in the arm. Both Pneumovax and Prevenar 13 are single-dose vaccines, and the need for revaccination has not yet been established. When both vaccines are to be given, it is recommended that Prevenar 13 should be administered first.
Vaccination takes place by appointment at our London clinic in Fleet Street. A 15-minute appointment is all that is needed.
The cost of our pneumonia vaccines along with details of our full range of inoculations, can be found here.
For further details and appointments call us today on 020 7353 5678 or request an appointment online here.
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