Silverbirch Medical Practice, Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland

Pneumococcal vaccination

The pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. It's also known as the "pneumo jab" or pneumonia vaccine.

Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis. At their worst, they can cause permanent brain damage, or even kill.

At risk patients should have the pneumococcal vaccination to protect against pneumonia.The pneumococcal vaccination is a one off vaccine, if you haven’t had it yet, please do book an appointment.

People over 65 only need a single pneumococcal vaccination, which will protect for life. It is not given annually like the flu jab.

People with a long-term health condition may need just a single one-off pneumococcal vaccination or five-yearly vaccination, depending on their underlying health problem.

Babies receive the pneumococcal vaccine as three separate injections, at 8 weeks, 16 weeks and one year old.

Who should have the pneumococcal vaccine?

A pneumococcal infection can affect anyone. However, some people are at higher risk of serious illness and can be given the pneumococcal vaccination on the NHS. These include:

  • babies 
  • adults aged 65 or over
  • children and adults with certain long-term health conditions, such as a serious heart or kidney condition

Please visit the following link for further information: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/pages/pneumococcal-vaccination.aspx

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