While much public focus is spent on vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19, pneumonia continues to be a serious infection that can be prevented with a pneumonia vaccination. Each year, the lung infection hospitalizes over 250,000 people – most of them adults. It’s particularly dangerous for those over the age of 65, who are at increased risks for hospitalization, complications, and more.
In addition to insuring you are vaccinated against pneumonia, InnovAge Chief Medical Officer of Population Health Dr. Ann Wells
recommends getting vaccinated against influenza every year. “Pneumonia often comes on as a secondary infection after someone has the flu. Those who get a flu shot have a lower risk of this happening,” she explains.
In older adults who may have weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions such as asthma or heart disease
, pneumonia can be life threatening.
“In addition to being up to date on your vaccinations and getting your yearly flu shot,” Dr. Wells advises, “be sure to practice good hygiene such as handwashing, don’t smoke, and avoid sick individuals to further protect yourself.”
“Unlike the influenza vaccine, pneumonia vaccines can be given year-round,” says Dr. Wells.
If you have questions about pneumonia or vaccinations, talk to your primary care doctor on what makes the most sense for you and your family.