Pneumococcal Vaccine in Hickey's Pharmacy

(13 Oct 2017)

We are now offering the Pneumococcal vaccination in Hickey’s Pharmacy.

The Pneumococcal vaccine is designed to prevent the spread of pneumococcal disease which can cause pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis (inflammation around the brain). The bacteria can be spread from person to person by coughing, sneezing or close contact.

Pneumococcal disease is very serious and can cause major illness or death amongst the very young, very old, those with a long term medical condition or anyone with impaired immunity.

The bacteria present in the disease has become resistant to many medications in recent years, therefore prevention through the vaccination is more important than ever.

Many people are at risk and it is recommended that they receive the vaccination, this includes everybody aged 65 and over plus those with the following conditions;

  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic heart, respiratory or liver disease
  • Chronic kidney disease, nephrotic syndrome, kidney transplant
  • Sickle- cell disease
  • Those with missing or non-functioning spleens
  • Immune system disorders including cancer
  • Persons with Down Syndrome
  • HIV infections or AIDS
  • Those receiving chemotherapy or other treatments that suppress the immune system
  • Those who have received or are about to receive cochlear implants
  • Persons who smoke
  • History of alcohol abuse
  • Individuals with occupational exposure to metal fume (i.e. welders)

This vaccine protects against 23 types of pneumococcal disease including those most likely to cause severe disease and most people only need to receive the vaccine once.

Anyone who receives their first vaccine over the age of 65 does not require another vaccination regardless of immune status.

If you are aged under 65 years a booster vaccination (usually given 5 years after the first) may be recommended if you have a condition where your antibody levels are likely to decline rapidly e.g. no spleen, or a condition that weakens your immune system.

You cannot get pneumococcal disease from the vaccine, as it does not contain live bacteria

The vaccination is not recommended for young healthy adults as they are at low risk of becoming infected with Pneumococcal disease.

Some people can develop side-effects after a pneumococcal vaccination. The more common side-effects are soreness and redness at the injection site. Severe allergic reactions are very rare but all of our vaccinating pharmacists are trained to deal with this. It is important that you stay in store for 15 minutes after your vaccination, just in case you have any immediate side-effects.

If you’re concerned about any aspects of your vaccination or about any side-effects, you should talk to one of our pharmacists. You can also avail of the flu vaccine while getting your pneumococcal vaccine as they can be given together. Find your nearest Hickey's Pharmacy here

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