Dominican Medical Group has influenza (or flu) vaccines available - contact the location nearest you for appointment information. Patients over 65 or those with chronic illness should be sure to get vaccinated. All patients are welcome to get the vaccine. The vaccine is a not a live virus and can not give you an infection. Uncommon side effects include a sore arm or low grade fever. Patients with egg allergy or previous reaction to the vaccine should not be immunized and should consult with their physician.
Who should get a pneumococcal vaccination? According to the National Institute on Aging, everyone age 65 and older should get the pneumococcal vaccine. Some younger people should get it also. The U.S. Public Health Service, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and the American Lung Association also recommend that all people age 65 and older get this vaccine.
Ask a doctor for the vaccine if you:
- Are age 65 or older
- Have a chronic illness, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes
- Have a weak immune system due to kidney disease, cancer, HIV infection, organ transplant medicine or other disease
What is pneumococcal pneumonia? There are two main kinds of pneumonia: viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia is the most serious. One kind of bacteria causes pneumococcal pneumonia. In older people, this type of pneumonia is a common cause of hospitalization and death. Pneumococcal (pronounced new-mo-KOK-al) disease is an infection caused by bacteria. These bacteria can attack different parts of the body. When they invade the lungs, they cause the most common kind of bacterial pneumonia. When the same bacteria attacks blood cells, they cause an infection called bacteremia (bak-ter-E-me-ah). And in the brain, they cause meningitis.
Who is at risk? People age 65 and older are at high risk - generally two to three times more likely than people in other age groups to get penumococcal infections.
Can pneumococcal pneumonia be prevented? Yes. The pneumococcal vaccine is safe, it works and one shot lasts most people a lifetime. People who get the vaccine are protected against almost all of the bacteria that cause pneumococcal pneumonia and other pneumococcal diseases as well. The shot, which is covered by Medicare, can be a lifesaver. A recent, large study by the National Institutes of Health shows that the vaccine prevents most cases of pneumococcal pneumonia.