How Often Do You Take Pneumonia Vaccine

How Often Do You Take Pneumonia Vaccine – When you plan to get a flu shot this season, you should talk to your doctor about whether you need another shot to protect against common respiratory infections: the pneumococcal shot.

Although you may think it’s a vaccine for people 65 and older, if you have a type of inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (AP), or axial spondyloarthritis, it’s too late to wait. (axSpA). ).

How Often Do You Take Pneumonia Vaccine

“Living with an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis makes you more vulnerable to serious infections and increases your risk of pneumonia,” says Justin Owensby, PharmD, PhD, a research pharmacist in the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (UAB). “It is especially important to vaccinate against infectious diseases. Vaccines strengthen your immune response and protect the health of you and the people around you.”

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Unfortunately, many people with inflammatory arthritis do not receive the pneumonia vaccine as part of their routine care. According to a recent study of rheumatoid arthritis patients, for example, only 10% of people treated in rural areas followed the recommendation.

American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for pneumococcal vaccine.

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both lungs. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. When germs enter the lungs, they suppress the immune system, causing inflammation, coughing, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.

Bacterial pneumonia, which can occur after a first viral infection, such as a cold or flu, is the most common type of pneumonia in adults.

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If you have a form of inflammatory arthritis, the same chronic systemic inflammation that targets your joints can lower your body’s natural immune defenses. This increases the risk of serious infections such as pneumonia. Additionally, taking certain medications to manage your condition can weaken or suppress your immune response, making you more susceptible to pneumonia.

If you are between the ages of 19 and 64 and have inflammatory arthritis, rheumatology specialists recommend getting the pneumonia vaccine.

There are two types of pneumonia vaccines. You need one of each at least eight weeks apart.

The first to be developed, PVC13 helps protect against 13 different strains of pneumococcal bacteria. PPSV23 helps protect against an additional 10 different strains.

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Unlike the flu shot, there is no specific “season” or time of year to get the pneumonia shot. You can get it anytime. Also, unlike the flu, this is not an annual vaccine. You only need to take it once, a follow-up dose after a few years.

“These two vaccines work together to cover the most invasive serotypes [groups of bacteria] responsible for severe pneumonia,” said Dr. Owensby, adding that there are more than 90 serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae that can cause all types of disease.

“When the PSV13 vaccine is given in this sequence, it is recommended to give it first because of the immune response to the vaccine,” he explains. “Individuals who received PPSV23 as an initial dose had a lower antibody response after a subsequent dose of PCV13 than those who received PCV13 as an initial dose after a dose of PPSV23.”

Although recent studies have found a lower rate of vaccine effectiveness in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases taking disease-modifying drugs, experts agree that vaccination against pneumonia is mandatory.

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“In general, it reduces the risk of complications,” says Vinicius Dominguez, MD, a rheumatologist in Daytona Beach, Florida. “Pneumonia can be fatal.”

Pneumococcal vaccines are inactivated (not live) and generally considered safe for people with inflammatory arthritis who take immunosuppressive drugs, Dr. Lieber says.

A study published in the Journal of Rheumatology found that conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)—drugs such as methotrexate taken to reduce disease activity—can reduce the effects of the PCV13 and PCV23 vaccines.

In other words, people taking these drugs who have received both vaccines may not have the same protection as people not taking immunosuppressive drugs.

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“People with inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, have been shown to develop protective antibodies after pneumococcal vaccination,” says Dr. Lieber. “However, because some immunosuppressive drugs may be associated with a decreased immune response to vaccines, your doctor may consider timing pneumococcal vaccination in relation to an immunosuppressive regimen to maximize immune response.”

If possible, the ideal time to vaccinate is before starting immunosuppressive medication. If you have not received pneumococcal vaccines, you should discuss with your rheumatologist the decision to temporarily stop the medication.

“It is true that the use of certain medications can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine by 30-40 percent, but I do not usually stop my patients’ medications,” says Dr. Dominguez. “If you stop taking the medicine, you can get infected, and we don’t want that. It is very complicated; I will accept any answer I can accept. It’s better than nothing.”

As with the flu shot, you won’t get protection for at least a few weeks after getting the pneumonia vaccine. And even after vaccination, you can get pneumonia.

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If the idea of ​​going to the doctor or pharmacy to get a pneumonia vaccine seems daunting after months of travel restrictions to reduce exposure to COVID-19, know this: CDC outlines safe vaccination methods for local pharmacies, grocery stores, and medical offices. , including:

Many people with severe COVID-19 develop severe pneumonia in both lungs (called COVID-19 pneumonia), which unfortunately the pneumococcal vaccine seems to protect against. According to the World Health Organization, the new coronavirus “is new and different, so it needs its own vaccine.”

Dr. Dominguez adds, “Pneumonia vaccines protect us against the most common bacteria that can cause pneumonia; COVID-19 is a virus.”

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the virus that causes COVID-19 can directly cause pneumonia: “We often find that the flu can lead to secondary infections with other types of bacteria that the pneumonia vaccine prevents. But because the coronavirus itself is bad, the pneumonia vaccine doesn’t protect against it.”

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Symptoms of pneumonia, such as fever, cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing, can mimic those of COVID. Protecting against pneumonia can help reduce your chances of getting sick and requiring a COVID test and quarantine.

Although most people with pneumonia can be treated very well at home, it can cause complications and require hospitalization, especially in vulnerable people. Vaccination reduces this risk.

It’s important that people avoid severe cases of flu, pneumonia and other infections that require hospitalization and add stress to an already strained health care system to care for people with COVID-19.

Bottom line: Talk to your rheumatologist or primary care doctor to see if your vaccines are up to date. If you have not received the vaccine, ask for the pneumonia shot. Continue to practice other measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent hand washing and sanitizing to protect your health and prevent infectious diseases.

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Join a patient-centered research registry to track symptoms, disease activity, and medications and refer them to your doctor. Learn more and register here.

Influenza (Flu) Frequently Asked Questions: 2020-2021 Season. Influenza (flu). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. September 21, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm#anchor_1593184899499.

Interview with Justin Owensby, PharmD, PhD, Research Pharmacist, Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Jacobs S. Pneumococcal vaccination in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: treatment issues. Rheumatology consultant. 16 Nov. 2017. https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/topics/rheumatoid-arthritis/pneumococcal-vaccination-in-patients-with-rheumatoid-arthritis-taking-treatment-into-consideration.

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Pneumococcal vaccination: a summary of who should be vaccinated and when. Vaccines and preventable diseases. US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/pneumo/hcp/who-when-to-vaccinate.html.

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