Prevnar 13 vs. Pneumovax 23 Vaccines

Prevnar 13 vs. Pneumovax 23 Vaccines

Pneumonia is a serious lung infection caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It is a dangerous condition that can lead to respiratory problems, chest pain, high fever, and breathing difficulties. Pneumonia can affect anyone, but it is particularly dangerous for children and adults who are over 50 years old or have a history of smoking, asthma, COPD, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, HIV, hepatitis, or other immunocompromising conditions.

Fortunately, two vaccines approved by the FDA can help prevent pneumococcal disease: Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23. But which one is right for you? We will compare the two vaccines, their uses, and who should get them.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Before we dive into the topic, let’s first review the common symptoms of pneumonia, which include:

  • Problems with breathing
  • High fever
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Headache

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Prevnar 13 vs. Pneumovax 23 vaccines: Who gets these vaccines?

Patients who have suffered from pneumonia in the past, as well as people 50 or older, people with a past or present history of smoking, a history of asthma or COPD, or a history of immunocompromising conditions (e.g., diabetes, chronic kidney disease, HIV, hepatitis) need to get vaccinated. At the moment, there are two vaccines the FDA has approved that are effective for the prevention of pneumococcal disease.

Both Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23 vaccines are designed to protect against pneumococcal disease, which can cause severe infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections. But you cannot simply go ahead and choose one vaccination over another. You need to ensure that the patient gets the right one for them.

Pneumovax 23 Vaccination Facts:

Pneumovax 23 is recommended for individuals between the ages of 2 to 64 who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Cigarette smokers who are 19 years or older
  • Recipients of cochlear implants
  • People suffering from chronic liver disease
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • People with chronic health conditions such as COPD, nephrotic syndrome, renal failure, diabetes, and heart diseases

The CDC also recommends that people over 65 should get the Pneumovax 23 vaccine, even if they have received any other dose of pneumonia vaccine in the past.

Prevnar 13 Vaccination and Who Should Receive It

While Prevnar 13 treats pneumonia, it’s designed to target a different section of patients in need of a vaccine. Prevnar 13 is recommended for:

  • Adults aged 50 years or older
  • Individuals aged between 19 to 64 who have never been vaccinated with Prevnar 13 and have certain conditions, such as asplenia, cochlear implant, an immunocompromising condition, or those who have a cerebrospinal fluid leak.
  • Infants and children who are at least six weeks old.

Pneumovax 23 and Prevnar 13: What is the chief difference between the two?

The main difference between Pneumovax 23 and Prevnar 13 is the number of bacteria it targets and the strength of protection against them. Pneumovax 23 protects against 23 different kinds of pneumococcal bacteria, while Prevnar 13 protects against 13 different types of bacteria.

How does one administer these vaccines?

Pneumovax 23 can be given intramuscularly or subcutaneously, while Prevnar 13 should always be administered intramuscularly.

It is important to note that pneumonia vaccines are different from flu shots. The right vaccine for you may depend on your age, medical history, and the type of risks associated with your condition. Therefore, it is essential to consult a specialist or pharmacist before getting vaccinated.

Nirvana Healthcare Network’s Community Outreach Program (CHOP) services have helped people throughout East Orange, NJ, and the surrounding communities have ready access to these vaccines and other medical services they may not have otherwise. Learn more about our CHOP services and how they can help you and the people you love today.