While the vaccination for pneumonia is not always 100% effective, it certainly lowers one’s risk of catching the infection. Also, if you have been gotten a pneumonia shot but end up getting infected nonetheless, your symptoms will be much milder since you have already been vaccinated.
Individuals who are over a certain age and those with pre-existing chronic conditions are at a higher risk of catching pneumonia, which is defined as a viral infection that affects the lungs, leading to breathing problems. Pneumonia is especially prevalent among individuals with impaired immune systems.
Should You Get the Pneumonia Shot?
Certain individuals are at an increased risk of catching pneumonia which is why it makes more sense for them to get a pneumonia shot. These high-risk groups are:
The elderly. Because the immune system weakens with age, individuals aged 65+ have a much harder time keeping a viral infection such as pneumonia at bay as their immune system is not capable enough to ward it off. Everyone over the age of 65 should get a pneumonia vaccination.
Individuals with impaired immune systems. There is a host of conditions that wreak havoc on the immune system, so when the immune system becomes weakened due to a serious condition, it is not capable of warding off disease-causing pathogens. Conditions such as cardiovascular disease, asthma, COPD, and diabetes can impair immune system function, putting those with such conditions at a higher danger of catching pneumonia. People with HIV/AIDS and those who are undergoing chemotherapy similarly run a higher risk of getting pneumonia.
Smokers. If you are a long-time smoker, you should be aware that smoking damages the lining of the lungs that works as a sort of filter to keep germs out. When the lining of the lungs gets attacked, it cannot keep pathogens out.
Those with an excessive alcohol intake. Heavy alcohol consumption also impairs the immune system. In heavy alcohol consumers, the blood cells that normally ward off infections cannot adequately do their job.
Those recovering from a serious ailment or surgery. Individuals who spent a considerable amount of time in a hospital, especially those who stayed in the intensive care unit hooked up to a ventilator, are at an increased risk of catching pneumonia. Individuals who have recently undergone a major operation or who are recovering from a severe physical trauma also run a higher risk of catching pneumonia. The immune system loses its strength in fighting off harmful substances when it is already trying to help the body recover from an existing condition or injury.
Who Should Avoid Getting a Pneumonia Shot?
The pneumonia vaccination isn’t a necessity for everyone. Individuals between the ages of 18-64 usually do not need to get a pneumonia shot. People who are allergic to the contents of the vaccine also should avoid getting the shot. If you are not sure as to whether you may be allergic, consult with your doctor prior to getting the shot.
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