The pneumococcal vaccine protects at risk patients from pneumococcal infection. Pneumococcus is a bacteria that can cause serious illness such as pneumonia and meningitis.
At risk patients include young children under 2 years old and people over 65 years as they have a higher risk of becoming unwell with pneumococcal infection. Older people are more likely to suffer long term health problems following pneumococcal infection.
One dose protects against pneumococcal infection and re-immunisation is not recommended except in special circumstances. It can be given at the same time as your flu immunisation.
The vaccine is recommended for all people aged 65 years and over. Children under 2 years of age are offered the vaccine as part of routine childhood immunisation. The following people with serious medical problems are also advised to get the vaccine:
- Problems with the spleen or removal of the spleen
- Serious respiratory or heart conditions
- Severe kidney or liver disease
- Cochlear implants
- Individuals with cerebrospinal fluid leaks
- Children under 5 years of age who have previously had pneumococcal disease
Contact the surgery for further advice if you think you may be eligible for the vaccination.