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Lung diseases

Frequency of Pneumonia shots

10/21/2005

Question:

Age 65 or older, I have seen: 1. never take a second pneumonia shot, 2. every ten years, 3. every five years 4. Every 2-3 years What is your reccomended frequency? Is it reccomended as partial prevention for the "Avain Flu"?

Answer:

According to the recommendations published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 2002 and 2003, a second dose of vaccine is given to an individual with a normal immune system if they are >= to 65 and received the vaccine more than 5 years previously and were less than 65 at the time of initial vaccination.

For individuals who were over 65 years old when they received the initial dose of vaccine, a second dose may be given >= 5 years after the first dose if they have a concurrent illness such as cardiac disease, lung disease, diabetes, alcoholism, liver disease, cochlear implants, chronic leak of spinal fluid or live in special environments or social settings such as chronic care facilities.

The pneumovax will not provide any protection from the avian flu or other forms of influenza.

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Response by:

Ralph   Panos, MD Ralph Panos, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati