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Prevention of Pneumococcal Disease

Influenza infections can make people more likely to develop bacterial pneumonia. Pneumococcus is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia. There is a vaccine to protect high-risk individuals against serious pneumococcal disease. The vaccine, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV), is safe and effective. PPSV is for all adults age 65 years and older. It is also recommended for adults age 19 years and older who smoke cigarettes, and for persons between the ages of 2 to 64 years who have chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular or lung disease; sickle cell disease; diabetes; alcoholism; chronic liver disease; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak or a cochlear implant.

Most people need a single dose of the pneumococcal vaccine in a lifetime. All children less than 5 years of age should receive a different vaccine called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV); high risk children 2 to 4 years of age need both pneumococcal vaccines. Montgomery County offers pneumococcal vaccines for children at the walk-in immunization clinics for information. Adults should refer to Community Medical Clinics for information as the County does not offer the vaccine to anyone over 18 years.