Pneumococcal Vaccines For Those 65 Years And Older

grandma-and-babyMost of us take breathing for granted, but when breathing becomes difficult, it can be very scary. It can also be life threatening.  Lincoln County Health Department is encouraging residents to receive both pneumococcal “pneumonia” vaccines.

Pneumococcal disease is caused by a bacteria that you can catch from a sick person who coughs or sneezes around you. Adults ages 65 and older are at increased risk for sickness and even death from this disease. In order for you to protect your health, it is important that you receive these shots about one year apart and that you receive both shots.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with the Lincoln County Health Department routinely recommend both pneumococcal vaccines to help prevent bacterial illnesses like pneumonia, a serious lung infection.  “Pneumococcal disease can be a serious infection that can strike quickly,” said Mindy Schwarz, Public Health Nurse for Lincoln County Health Department. “This makes prevention through vaccination really important.”

In the past it was only recommended to receive one pneumococcal vaccine, however, if you have received just one, you are not done. There are two pneumococcal vaccines available, the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). These vaccines are not given at the same visit.  It is preferred that the PCV13 vaccine be given first followed by the PPSV23 12 months later.

Most Medicare Plans cover both pneumococcal vaccines. Check with your provider or local pharmacist to see if you need one or both of these shots.  Those that do not have insurance, or do not have vaccine coverage, may call the Lincoln County Health Department to schedule an appointment, cost is $10.00.

Please talk with your healthcare provider, local pharmacist, or call Mindy Schwarz, Public Health Nurse at the Lincoln County Health Department at 715-536-0307 for more information on these vaccines.

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