Who does not want to prevent the Pneumonia? However for the children, older adults and patients suffering from chronic illnesses; it is vital to take various preventive measures for leading better and quality life. 

It goes without saying that practising a good hygiene and avoiding sick people goes a long way in preventing serious respiratory infections like pneumonia.

You may take below mentioned preventive measures to avoid the pneumonia infection.

Practice a healthy lifestyle: You should do regular exercise and keep a strong immune system. You should take a balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also, don’t forget to get enough sleep. All these things will effectively prevent you from infections.

Avoid smoking: The infections of the lung tissues are more prevalent in individuals who smoke regularly. Thus, smoking enhances your chances of getting pneumonia. You should try to avoid smoking and if possible stop it completely.

Avoid contact with infected people: As most of the infections are contagious in nature, you should avoid the contact of sick people who are suffering from respiratory tract infections like colds and influenza (flu).

Maintain good hygiene: You should maintain a good hygiene to avoid infections. It includes washing your hands regularly as it assists in preventing the spread of pneumonia causing viruses and bacteria.

Avoid contact with people infected with measles or chickenpox: Pneumonia may result due to the complication of measles or chickenpox, thus, you should try to avoid contact with infected people.

Vaccinations: The vaccines provide effective prevention from pneumonia. However, they do not help everyone. There are different vaccines available in the market for children and older adults.

                    Vaccine for children: Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV)

                    Vaccine for older adults: Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV)

Although vaccines do not provide comprehensive protection from pneumonia in adults, they offer prevention from some of the serious pneumonia complications such as bacteraemia, septicaemia, etc; in healthy younger adults and individuals older than 55 years.

Moreover, vaccines are also recommended in older adults who are 65 or older, smokers, and individuals suffering from chronic condition.

Vaccines for other diseases

The vaccination for other diseases may prevent the occurrence of common diseases where pneumonia is a complication. Examples of such vaccines are vaccines for measles, chicken pox, influenza, etc.

Vaccine for measles: The vaccination for measles prevents the occurrence of measles in children and thereby reducing the chances of pneumonia. Those adults, who were not vaccinated during childhood or have not got the measles, should be vaccinated against measles.

Varicella-zoster vaccine: It is the chickenpox vaccine and it assists in preventing many cases of pneumonia caused by the chickenpox causing virus.

Vaccines for influenza: Everyone should get the yearly vaccination shots for influenza. It helps in preventing the flu or Influenza that can lead to pneumonia. It is recommended in individuals who are older adults or suffering from chronic medical diseases.

Intake of Zinc: The mineral zinc has proven to be effective in preventing pneumonia in children. It is usually served as a dietary supplement and present in cereals, sea food, beans or lean red meats.

What is the need of PCV 13?

The PCV 13 is used for the prevention of pneumococcal infections because the treatment of these infections is hard due to drug resistant strains of the bacteria. The Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria cause severe infection such as pneumonia and meningitis; especially in young children. 

The new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) provides protection from 13 strains of pneumococcal infections and found to be effective in preventing the occurrence of pneumonia in almost 80% of the cases among children under 5.

PCV13 is usually administered to the infants at high risk for serious diseases due to pneumococcal infections. The PCV13 can be given along with other vaccines.

Indications for PCV13

Infants and Children Under 2 Years of Age

PCV13 is administered as a series of 4 doses to infants and children under 2 years of age. The health care provider decides about the number of doses and length of intervals between them after considering the age of children.

It is also recommended for those children who had received PCV7 doses as they can complete their immunization series with PCV13.

Older Children and Adolescents

Children (age between 2 and 6 years) suffering from various medical conditions such as AIDS, Chronic lung or heart disease, sickle cell disease and others; should get 1 or 2 doses of PCV13 (doses to be determined by health care provider)

Healthy Children (age between 2 and 5 years) who had not received PCV7 or PCV13 before the age of 2 years.

Children and adolescents (age between 6 and 18 years) with certain medical conditions should be administered doses of PCV13 although they had received PCV7 or PPSV23 earlier.

Children who had received immunization series with PCV7

Healthy children less than 5 years can be given one dose of PCV13

Children with medical conditions (less than 6 years) can be given one dose of PCV13.

The doses should be given after recommendations from experienced health care provider.

Risks from PCV13

There is very minimal chance of any severe or life threatening medical problem due to vaccine. Even if severe allergic reactions are present, they will disappear within few hours after the vaccination procedure.

The patient may experience following mild reactions.

 

                    Allergic reaction

                    Drowsiness

                    Temporary loss of appetite

                    Redness or tenderness in the region where shot was administered

                    Swelling in the region where shot was administered

                    Mild fever

                    Fussy or irritable behaviour

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP)

In 1986, a VICP program was brought into existence for providing compensation to those individuals who claim that they have been injured by a vaccine.

Individuals can file their claim with VICP through any of the following ways.

                    By calling 1-800-338-2382

                    By visiting the website at http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation

Sources of information about PCV13

Individuals can get the further information about PCV13 from the following sources.

                    Health care provider

                    Vaccine package insert

                    By calling local or state health department

                    By contacting CDC office (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

                    By making calls at 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO)

                    By visiting the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines