What is the Pneumonia Vaccine (Pneumovax)?
Pneumococcal Disease (PD) is an infection caused by a type of bacteria (streptococcus pneumonia). When this bug invades the body, it can lead to serious illness, such as pneumonia. But the bacteria can also cause blood poisoning and meningitis, which is inflammation of the tissues around the brain and spinal cord.
PD bacteria can travel through the air and spread by close contact, through sneezing, coughing or kissing. It can also be picked up from surfaces and objects. The most common signs and symptoms are fever, chills, sweat, aches and pains, and headaches.
Who Should Get the Vaccine?
People 65 and older and those with conditions that affect the immune system, such as:
About eight out of 10 cases occur in these high-risk groups. The vaccine protects against 65% of people. Vaccination also makes the disease milder for those who may catch it.
Five Tips for Reducing Your Risk of contracting PD:
1. If you are 65 or older or in the risk group noted above, see your primary care provider about getting the vaccine.
2. Wash your hands
3. Be active
4. Get enough sleep, as this can help to keep your immune system strong
5. Have regular follow up visits with your primary care provider.
If you are a patient of the Temagami Family Health Team and would like to have the pneumonia vaccine, please call the office to schedule an appointment.
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