Aug 12, 2020

Pneumonia prevention with a vaccine

Did you know that about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease, which can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease spreads by direct person-to-person contact. A pneumonia vaccine can help prevent pneumonia, but only 67% of adults 65 and over have ever gotten it.

Medicare Part B covers the pneumonia vaccine, which is given as 2 pneumococcal shots. You may be at a higher risk for pneumonia if you:

  • Are 65 or older
  • Have a chronic illness (like asthma, diabetes, or lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease)
  • Have a condition that weakens your immune system (like HIV, AIDS, or cancer)
  • Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • Have cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
  • Smoke tobacco

Now more than ever, the CDC says it’s important for those at increased risk for these diseases to get recommended vaccines for the flu and pneumococcal disease.

Medicare helps make pneumonia prevention easy—get your pneumonia shots today.