Pneumonia Vaccination Service
With Hey Pharmacist, you can book a pneumonia vaccination service at your nearest pharmacy to protect you and those around you from the infection. Book online today using the button below and following the simple steps.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a chest infection where the air sacs in your lungs (alveoli) get inflamed and filled with fluid, making it difficult to breathe. It can be spread and is particularly dangerous for those at higher risk. A pneumonia vaccination protects you against the infection.
Each year in the UK, about 5-10 adults out of every 1,000 get pneumonia.
Receiving a pneumonia vaccination will decrease the risk of developing pneumonia. Your pharmacist will recommend the most suitable for you based on your age, health and preferences.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
Symptoms of pneumonia can start suddenly or develop gradually, and includes the following:
- A cough
- Shortness of breath
- A high temperature
- Chest pain
- An aching body
- Loss of appetite
There are three possible vaccines that your pharmacist will choose from as the most suitable for you. These are:
- Pneumovax 23 - (For 2 years+) - Protective against 23 strains with suggested revaccination every 5 years (Immunity unknowns with immunocompromised patients)
- Prevenar 13 - (For 6 weeks+) - Long-lasting protection against 13 strains
- Apexxnar - (For 18 years+) - Long-lasting protection against 20 strains
Why should I get a pneumonia vaccination?
Although our bodies can usually fight off the bacteria that cause pneumonia, it is still a possibility, especially for those at risk. Pneumonia can be a serious, sometimes life-threatening condition, which is why it is important to get vaccinated.
For most adults, one vaccine should be enough to protect you for a lifetime, unlike the flu vaccination, and lowers your chances of developing further infections such as meningitis and serious ear infections.
For some, such as those with underlying health conditions or immunocompromised patients, top-ups and boosters may be required.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is at risk of pneumonia?＋
Some groups of people are at higher risk of pneumonia and should take extra care to reduce the chances of catching it. High-risk groups include:
- Residents of care homes
As well as those who suffer from:
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Disease
- Kidney Disease
- A weakened immune system
- Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen
If you are in a high-risk group, you may also benefit from receiving the flu vaccine to protect against influenza infections.
What should I expect at my appointment?＋
You will be asked a few questions to see if you are eligible. Your pharmacist will administer the vaccine in the privacy of the consultation room.
Before your vaccination, please tell your pharmacist if:
- You feel unwell, have a temperature or are currently suffering from an infection
- You have had any other vaccinations or immunisations in the last 3 months
- You have ever fainted or felt dizzy after receiving an injection
- You have any known allergies, for example hen’s eggs, latex or antibiotics
- You are taking any other medications
- You are pregnant
What are the side effects of the pneumonia vaccine?＋
Following your pneumonia vaccination, you may experience common side effects such as a sore arm or flu-like symptoms such as a headache and slight fever. Make sure you drink plenty of water and take painkillers if necessary.
If symptoms persist after 48 hours, contact your GP surgery or NHS 111.
When should you get a pneumonia vaccination?＋
You can get your pneumonia vaccination all year round, but it is best to have the vaccine in early autumn before any outbreaks of influenza. However, you may also want to consider it when travelling abroad.
What causes pneumonia?＋
Pneumonia can come from many forms of bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus, however, the most common is community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), which is when you get infected in a community setting.
Our immune system is usually able to fight off community-acquired pneumonia more so than the common cold or flu, making it less contagious and less likely to be passed from person to person.
As well as community-acquired pneumonia, other types include hospital-acquired, viral, aspiration (food going down the wrong way) and fungal (rare in the UK).