The pneumonia vaccine, I like to consider this the Rodney Dangerfield of vaccines, cause it gets no respect.

The pneumonia vaccine is a simple injection. One shot protects you for five years from what some statistics show at the 9th leading cause of death and hospitalizations. So many people in our community misunderstand this vaccine and are afraid of this vaccine, because they feel that it can make them sick. Unlike the flu vaccine, which has side effects, the pneumonia vaccine has no side effects other than injection site pain.

So who should get the vaccine? Anybody under the age of five, anybody over the age of 50 and then anyone who smokes, regardless of age, anyone who has asthma or COPD or emphysema or any other lung condition should get the vaccine. In addition to the pneumonia vaccine we have now Prevnar, it’s an additional booster, typically given one year after the pneumonia vaccine, that allows for even greater protection of some new strains of pneumonia that have been identified. Again, understand the facts over the fiction, make the right decision, talk to your doctor. Knowledge is Power.