fbpx
Sunday, May 31, 2020

A second vaccine against pneumonia recommended for seniors

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

If you’re over 65, there’s a new vaccine you should know about.

But before I explain the vaccine, let me introduce you to the bacterium that the vaccine protects you from. The little blue ovals in the above picture are Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. You might have guessed by its name that S. pneumoniae is a leading cause of pneumonia, and you’d be right. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, usually manifested by fever, productive cough, and shortness of breath. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but S. pneumoniae is such a common cause of pneumonia that it’s nicknamed the pneumococcus – the coccus (little round bacterium) that causes pneumonia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 900,000 people in the U.S. contract pneumococcal pneumonia every year, and tens of thousands of them die. Pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics, but some strains of the pneumococcus have developed resistance to some drugs. If that wasn’t bad enough, S. pneumoniae can also cause bloodstream infections and meningitis, which are even more life-threatening than pneumonia.

Given the severity of pneumococcal illness in people over 65, prevention in this age group has been critical. For over 30 years a pneumococcal vaccine called Pneumovax 23 has been recommended for everyone 65 and over. (The generic name for Pneumovax 23 is PPSV23, 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine. You don’t need to know that for the test. I’m just mentioning it here because you’ll see that name in other articles. Oh, and there is no test.) Pneumovax 23 protects against 23 different strains of S. pneumoniae but the immune response it stimulates in patients is just meh. That’s good enough to protect against bloodstream infections and meningitis, so it still saves many lives, but the evidence that it prevents pneumonia isn’t very strong.

A newer vaccine against the pneumococcus appeared in 2010. It’s called Prevnar 13 (PCV13, 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine). It has been used since that time in vaccinating children. It only covers 13 strains of pneumococcus but it stimulates a much stronger immune response than Pneumovax 23. Interestingly, there is some evidence that immunizing children against the pneumococcus has led to fewer pneumococcal illnesses in older people since there are fewer sick kids around to infect them. This is another bit of evidence of a phenomenon called herd immunity – immunizing some members of a “herd” protects the rest of them just because there are fewer vulnerable members to transmit the disease.

Recently Prevnar has been tested in and approved for use in seniors. A recent study showed definitively that it helps protect from bloodstream infections, meningitis, and pneumonia caused by the pneumococcus. Last month the CDC recommended Prevnar in everyone 65 and older.

Because Pneumovax 23 covers more strains, seniors should now receive both vaccines, not just the new one, but because the two vaccines protect against some of the same strains, they can’t be given at the same time. Here’s the recommended timing.

  • People 65 and over who haven’t received either vaccine should first receive Prevnar 13 followed 6 to 12 months later by Pneumovax 23.
  • People 65 and over who have already received Pneumovax 23 since they turned 65 should receive Prevnar 13 at least a year after receiving Pneumovax 23.
  • People 65 and over who have already received Pneumovax 23 before turning 65 should receive Prevnar 13 at least a year after their most recent Pneumovax dose, and then should receive another dose of Pneumovax 6 to 12 months after the Prevnar but not earlier than 5 years after the last Pneumovax dose.

Got that? If not, this ” target=”_blank”>so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice.

So if you’re 65 or older make sure that you get both Pneumovax and Prevnar in whichever order is appropriate for you. And if you’re younger, make sure your parents and aunts and uncles get the news. Because you don’t want the above picture to be the blood culture of someone you love.

Learn more:

” target=”_blank”>New Advice for Vaccines to Stave Off Pneumonia (Wall Street Journal)
” target=”_blank”>Use of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

Jewish Federation Releases Statement in Support of Black Community

As Shavuot and Shabbat come to a close, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles released a statement of solidarity with the Black community...

Los Angeles Synagogue Vandalized With ‘Free Palestine,’ ‘F— Israel’ Graffiti

A synagogue in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles was vandalized on May 30 with graffiti stating “free Palestine" and “f--- Israel.” Lisa Daftari, founder...

The Grove Looted, Set on Fire During Protests

After footage of George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota went viral on May 25,  protesters took to the streets around the...

Following Protests, Mayor Eric Garcetti Orders Overnight Curfew in Los Angeles

Following nationwide protests  — including in Los Angeles — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an 8 p.m. curfew across the city on May...

Jews Cannot Be Silent in the Face of Anti-Black Racism

“The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” stated Dr Rabbi Joachim Prinz. The Jewish community cannot...

Never Have We Ever Applauded Mandy Patinkin’s Twitter and Criticized Seinfeld

Erin and Esther are still wading through the content rapids, wearing their masks and pickling in their preferences. From adoring Mandy Patinkin's Twitter videos...

FCC Chair Asks Why Ayatollah Khamenei’s Tweets Don’t Violate Twitter Guidelines

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai asked Twitter in a tweet why Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s tweets against Israel don’t violate Twitter’s guidelines. Pai highlighted an...

US Ambassador to Israel Says Jewish Illiteracy Is Greatest Threat to Diaspora Jewry

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told a virtual conference that Jewish illiteracy is the greatest threat to Diaspora Jewry. “The Jewish state, while not...

L.A. County to Reopen Restaurants, Hair Salons

The California state government gave Los Angeles County approval to start reopening restaurants, hair salons and barbershops on May 29. Los Angeles County Board of...

Pro-Palestinian Group: Israel Trains U.S. Police to Be Racist

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) tweeted on May 28 that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) train police officers in the United States...

Culture

Despite COVID-19, Gal Gadot, Andy Samberg, Jon Stewart Move Forward with Summer Projects

Gal Gadot has a new home for her limited series about screen legend Hedy Lamarr. The eight-episode series is moving from Showtime to Apple...

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ to Get Movie Remake

A new version of “Fiddler on the Roof” is in the works from “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail and MGM. The remake comes 56 years...

LAJFF Hosts ‘Unorthodox’ Director Maria Schrader for Webinar About Hit Series

Inspired by Deborah Feldman’s best-selling memoir about leaving her Chasidic community, miniseries “Unorthodox” has been a hit for Netflix since its March premiere—but has...

Corona-Quarantined and Hungry? Travel and Eat Vicariously With Phil Rosenthal

During these times of isolation and not going to restaurants, Phil Rosenthal’s globe-hopping Netflix series “Somebody Feed Phil” is a tasty treat for those...

6 Inexpensive Ways to Upgrade Your Patio

With most of us spending so much more time at home lately, it’s no wonder that the sales of home furniture and accessories has been...

Latest Articles
Latest

Jewish Federation Releases Statement in Support of Black Community

As Shavuot and Shabbat come to a close, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles released a statement of solidarity with the Black community...

Los Angeles Synagogue Vandalized With ‘Free Palestine,’ ‘F— Israel’ Graffiti

A synagogue in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles was vandalized on May 30 with graffiti stating “free Palestine" and “f--- Israel.” Lisa Daftari, founder...

The Grove Looted, Set on Fire During Protests

After footage of George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota went viral on May 25,  protesters took to the streets around the...

Following Protests, Mayor Eric Garcetti Orders Overnight Curfew in Los Angeles

Following nationwide protests  — including in Los Angeles — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an 8 p.m. curfew across the city on May...

Jews Cannot Be Silent in the Face of Anti-Black Racism

“The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem is silence.” stated Dr Rabbi Joachim Prinz. The Jewish community cannot...

Hollywood


‘Love & Stuff’ Sees Life, Death and Motherhood Through a Jewish Lens

How do you cope with both the death of a parent and the artifacts she left behind, while preparing to become a mother yourself...

‘Arrowverse’ Showrunner Greg Berlanti on Whether He’s Jewish or Not

Greg Berlanti is the executive producer of “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” “Titans,” “Riverdale” and “The Flash.” Between keeping his die-hard DC fans satisfied, the mega-producer also...

Jewish Grandpa Seeks Out The Family Who Hid Him From Nazis in Documentary “The Starfish”

New York director and producer, Tyler Gildin, through his media company Gildin Media, released a documentary titled The Starfish, exploring the life story of his grandfather,...

Podcasts

Never Have We Ever Applauded Mandy Patinkin’s Twitter and Criticized Seinfeld

Erin and Esther are still wading through the content rapids, wearing their masks and pickling in their preferences. From adoring Mandy Patinkin's Twitter videos...

Pandemic Times Episode 48: Interviewing David Suissa

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning. In honor of David's Hebrew birthday on the first morning of Shavuot, his daughter Shanni flips the script and...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x