You May Need More Than Just the Flu Shot…

Last blog we discussed the annual flu shot.  When receiving this vaccine it is a great time to review all your adult vaccines.  At Charlton Health, we have developed an adult vaccination checklist.  Please ask for a copy and we can help you identify what vaccines you may require.
In todays blog, we want to focus on vaccines for pneumonia.  There are several strains of pneumonia bacteria which can cause chest infection, sinus infection and ear infections.  The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) suggests everyone over the age of 65 receive the pneumonia vaccine.  Adults under age 65 who have increased risk of pneumonia should also be vaccinated.  This includes people with asthma, COPD, diabetes, heart disease and those who are taking immunosuppressive treatments such as biologics.
There are two different pneumonia vaccines.  The suggested protocol is to receive Prevnar 13 ( which protects against the 13 main strains of pneumonia for at least 20 years), followed 8 weeks later by the older vaccine Pneumovax.  This vaccine only lasts for 5-8 years, so it is less effective than Prevnar 13, but as it offers some protection for an additional 10 strains of pneumonia, it is still worth having this dose at least 8 weeks after Prevnar 13.   If you have received Pneumovax in the past, you can still benefit from getting Prevnar 13, as long as it has been at least one year since receiving Pneumovax.
Our pharmacists are happy to answer any questions regarding vaccination; including which vaccines require a prescription and which are covered by the government.

Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health.  Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.

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