Pneumonia vaccine? Anyone get it?

Last spring, my doctor mentioned very casually that maybe I should consider getting the pneumonia vaccine. I was in the middle of a really bad bout of pneumonia at the time, and the word "pneumonia" was about the last thing I wanted to hear at the time.

But then I read the , and I'm seriously considering asking for one. I'm under 65, but I have asthma, so the . There are actually two pneumonia vaccines, and you need to get them at two different times, but you can get one with your regular flu vaccine.

My insurance estimator says I'll be on the hook for about a hundred bucks for it — and I haven't met my deductible, so that's a consideration. I'm guessing that $100 would be a lot cheaper than the meds I'd need to treat pneumonia, much less the pain and agony of getting through a bout of pneumonia. 

So who all here has had a pneumonia vaccine in the past? Who's planning on getting one along with their flu shots?


Comments 28

  • Mandy

    My arm was super stiff after the 2ND one so I'd say ibuprofen or acetaminophen before hand. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Thanks, Mandy! I've heard really good things about the benefits of getting one … I guess it goes back to an ounce of prevention and all that.

  • Jen

    Speaking of vaccines…did you ever manage to get that flu shot, Cynthia?

  • K8sMom2002

    It's on tap for next Tuesday morning. DD and DH are planning on getting theirs when DH comes home from work. 

    But I DO need to call the health department and see if PERHAPS they could give me the pneumo vaccine at the same time. If they have to call my primary to get an order, that will give them time. (I'm still not sure how it differs from the flu shot in terms of paperwork, etc.) But the health department is in my small town, whereas my primary is in the next town over and I have to get an appointment to see her, even for vaccines and immunizations.

  • K8sMom2002

    Yay! I was able to get my pneumonia vaccine right here in town! I'm now the proud possessor of both my annual flu vaccine and my pneumonia vaccine. I'll have to have the other pneumonia shot next year when I get my flu vaccine, but that is no problem. 

    I feel protected already!

  • Jen

    Did anyone else here get the pneumonia vaccine in the last few months?  

  • Serene

    I did get the pneumonia vaccine in 2015, it was the Prevnar 13 one.  I tend to have no problem with reactions to inject able meds.

    • In adults, immune responses to Prevnar 13® were reduced when given with injected seasonal flu vaccine
  • AAFA Community Services

    Pneumococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection. Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, or pneumococcus, can cause many types of illnesses. Some of these illnesses can be life-threatening. can include the following illnesses:

    • Pneumonia
    • Brain and spinal cord infection (meningitis)
    • Bloodstream infections (sepsis)
    • Ear infections

    Take our survey and .

  • Pljohns

    Up to date on pneumonia-booster in January-last one 5 years ago, and the new pneumonia was done in Oct.  Flu shot in Oct and again in March-pulmo recommends that I get 2 a year-and both high dose-to make sure I'm covered during the flu season.

  • K8sMom2002

    Wow, PLJohns, that's very interesting. I've never heard of a booster for the flu shot, but I have read of folks who get the shot early, only to have their immunity wear down and a late surge of the flu get them. 

    Does your insurance pay for the second shot?

    Have you seen good results from the pneumonia shots? I'm hopeful that some of the "crud" that I've gotten over the years will be reduced since I got the pneumonia shot. 

  • Pljohns

    it's technically not a booster but a second shot and no, they don't pay for it but it's less than $100 and way cheaper than another round in the hospital!  Flu shots are only good for 6 months max and around here, flu season runs Oct-march/April-we are still buried in the flu around here-so the 6 month coverage runs out before the flu goes away.  I get one in Sept/Oct and the second in march/April-that does me for anything that is hanging around.

    Pneumonia is partially to blame for my asthma-I had pneumonia, it came back in both lungs, H1N1 flu when it went around the very first time and affected so many people and let them with respiratory issues, and then, as if that wasn't enough, had whooping cough just after-all of than in less than 2 months and this is what I got left with.  Ever since then-pneumonia shots ever 5 years, then prevnar 13 last year and flu shots twice yearly.  I don't want to land in the hospital again and if I can get sick enough to do that without any of the viruses, I don't even what to imagine how sick I would be with a virus on top of that.

  • K8sMom2002

    I hear ya! That sounds very similar to my story, although I was lucky enough to escape the hospital. The last time I had pneumonia, my doctor suggested that I get the shot. I was so glad I'd switched providers, because no other doctor had suggested that to me. 

    Pneumonia is NO fun at all. Hospitals? Even less fun!

  • Kathy P

    Well I get to join the pneumococcal vaccine club! Was looking here to see what experience others have had. I got the PPSV23 shot just now. I'm having to wait 20 min in the waiting room before I leave. I don't recall others mentioning about waiting/monitoring.

    The allergist ordered the vax after he had some immune titers run .I have no immunity to strep! Which seems weird. So I get to have titers checked in a month. 

     Also, the doc today mentioned about a second dose in a year. Reading the info it says that certain high risk groups should get a second dose. Has anyone has their second dose?

  • Pljohns

    I didn't get a second dose for 5 years, which is the recommended booster but I got pneumovax 23 one year and prevnar13 the next-they protect you from different strains of pneumonia.  

  • K8sMom2002

    I TRIED to get my second dose, but the health department nurse said they weren't allowed to give it to me.

    She said that I would have to go back to my doctor. She also said I shouldn't have gotten the first dose, and that I couldn't possibly have gotten it at the health department.

    I politely insisted that I did get the shot there, and with no problem, and that they had told me to come back the following year to get dose number 2. She looked and said, "Well, we DID give it to you. Huh. You're not an old person."

    I plan on seeing if I can get it at my pharmacy, so that I don't have to go to my doctor's and pay an office visit. If my pharmacy requires a prescription, maybe my doc can fax one over. 

    Our doc always suggests a 20-minute wait after any injection if you've ever had a reaction to a medication.

  • Kathy P

    "You're not an old person."


    I got mine today because I was at the doc for something. Allergist has said I could come in to the shot room any time and request it. So no extra office visit. But I didn't want my allergies shots and a vax on the same day!

    Funny, my chart had marked that it had been addressed previously and I'd declined (which is true). She kind of laughed that she and the allergist were now in cahoots! 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    I got my pneumonia shot in December for the first time (45 years old), and my allergist was the one who suggested it. She said, "You have asthma, so this shot is recommended". I replied, "Even though my asthma is mild and intermittent?" and she said, "Yes".

    I'm so glad she recommended it–one less thing to worry about! I made sure to get my flu shot at a completely separate time. Before I talked to my allergist, I had no idea that anyone under 60 was advised to get it. BUT, it makes total sense!

  • Kathy P

    Yeah it was brought up to me before because if my asthma, not my age

    So far so good – my arm hurts a little, but hinhones not even as bad as my allergy shots!

    I need to go put a reminder on my calendar to get the titers done in a month. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Brenda, my doc recommended it in May of 2016 when I wound up with a lovely (NOT) case of pneumonia. She said it would help with other things besides pneumonia, because lots of different infections are caused by that bacteria. 

    Pneumococcal infections can range from ear and sinus infections to pneumonia and bloodstream infections. 

    I got mine the same time I got my flu shot (to make it easier to keep up with.) 

    Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I have not gotten as sick as often since I got that shot! 

  • Kathy P

    I got my follow up titres done…sigh, I didn't have a sufficient response to the vaccine to make the appropriate IgG. So this explains why whenever I get a flare / mucus, all the usual bacterial suspects have an easy time taking hold.  I'm hoping that treating the immune issue will improve my asthma 

    Da girl had titres drawn as well, but I haven't seen her results yet. Needed to do that before she gets the pneumo vax that she's already on deck for. I'm still trying to convince da boy to get the blood draw. But he's already on a "hit it hard, hit it early" protocol for anything that even resembles the start of a sinus infection.

  • Pljohns

    kathy-I'm so sorry your titers didn't come back so good.  At least you know why you get flares now!  Fingers crossed that fixing the immune issue helps with everything else!

  • LK

    Oh, Kathy, I am sorry about the disappointing test results!  That is a bitter pill to swallow when the avenue we had hoped would help does not help after all.  I'm with Lynn.  Fingers crossed!!

  • Kathy P

    It really explains a lot actually…starting with being plagued with ear infections as a kid, then bronchitis once I was older. Of the possibilities, this isn't the worst thing and is treatable. I'm really hopeful that this is the missing piece to getting control of my asthma. And the treatment is "on par" with what a biologic would be (i.e. ramp up to monthly infusions) which is what was on the table. And who knows, this may may explain some other immune issues too like my food intolerances.

  • LK

    Kathy,  I hope a lot of the pieces fall into place for you!