Jul 31, 2019

Preventing pneumonia is easy

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 these infections 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

Learn more about pneumonia vaccine coverage and other Medicare-covered vaccines by watching our video. Medicare helps make preventing pneumonia easy—get your pneumonia shot today.