Your Best Shot – Pneumococcal Vaccines
26
September

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , /


[Upbeat music plays] [Pneumo] I’m a pneumococcal germ. But please, call me Pneumo. I’m a germ with a dangerous reputation. I mean c’mon, you don’t make 4 million children and adults sick each year by being… [Whack!] …nice. [Pneumo chortles.] Oh boy. [Bam!] [Upbeat music ends.] [Narrator] Vaccines are your best shot against pneumococcal disease. [Upbeat music plays.] What is pneumococcal disease? It’s caused by a common type of germ. When someone with the disease coughs or sneezes, [Coughing.] the germs can spread to other people. Most of the time, people who get pneumococcal disease only have mild symptoms. But sometimes the germs can cause serious problems like ear, lung, blood, or brain infections. Some of these infections can make people very sick, and may lead to hospitalization, months of recovery, and even death. Pneumococcal vaccines are the best way to protect yourself from these germs and the diseases they cause. Who needs to get vaccinated? Everyone does at some point. It’s especially important for babies and people age 65 and older, as well as people with a weakened immune system — like a person with kidney failure, cancer, HIV, or an organ transplant — or an ongoing health condition like heart disease, diabetes, asthma, smoking, and alcoholism. Pneumococcal vaccines are very safe, but
like any medicine, they can have side effects. Common side effects include a sore arm where you got the shot or a fever — and they go away in a few days. How do I get vaccinated? It’s easy: You can usually get the shots at your doctor’s office or local pharmacy. And vaccination is covered by most insurance plans. If you’re a parent, pneumococcal shots are already part of your child’s regular vaccination schedule. Okay, let’s recap. Pneumococcal disease can cause serious
infections of the ears, lungs, blood, and brain. So babies, adults over 65, and people with weakened immune systems or ongoing health conditions need the pneumococcal vaccines. They’re covered by most insurance plans and available at your doctor’s office or pharmacy. [Smack!] Vaccination is your best shot at keeping
you and your loved ones safe from certain infectious diseases. Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated. And visit vaccines gov and healthfinder.gov to learn more.


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