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Our Pneumonia Vaccination Service is available throughout the year
You can get a pneumococcal vaccination at one of our community pharmacies. If you want to learn more about the pneumonia jab, here we run through what pneumonia is, what causes it, who is at risk, and why you may consider having the pneumococcal vaccine.
Pneumonia is an infection which affects your lungs. It causes the insides of your lungs to become inflamed, to produce more mucus and to fill up with fluid. This can make you cough and wheeze and can make it more difficult to breathe.
Pneumonia can be a serious and lasting infection, and it can lead to other serious conditions like meningitis as well as a form of blood poisoning called septicaemia. In some groups of people, such as the elderly and those with chronic diseases, pneumonia can be dangerous and even fatal.
Pneumonia has different causes, including other diseases as well as viral and fungal infections. It is most often caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus. The bacteria infect the inside of your lungs, causing inflammation in your lung tissue.
You catch pneumonia caused by a pneumococcal infection by coming into contact with pneumococcal bacteria. If someone with the bacterial infection coughs or sneezes near you, you can inhale the bacteria. You can also get it by touching a surface or object an infected person has recently touched, and then touching your nose or mouth.
These symptoms can come on quickly, within 24 hours, or they can develop over several days. Pneumococcal pneumonia can be tough to shift and the symptoms can last for weeks up to three months.
Anyone can catch pneumococcal pneumonia. However, certain groups of people are more likely to catch it and more likely to have serious infections. They include:
The pneumococcal vaccine (also called the pneumonia vaccine or pneumonia jab) is a vaccine that protects against pneumonia caused by a pneumococcal infection.
The pneumococcal vaccine contains parts of a range of different types of pneumococcal bacteria, not whole bacteria. The parts it contains are inactive. This means the vaccine can’t give you an infection, but it does give your immune system a chance to develop antibodies that can kill the bacteria. This gives you immunity against the pneumococcal bacteria that are most likely to cause pneumococcal pneumonia.
Our pneumococcal vaccination service is suitable for people two years of age and older.
You or your child can have the vaccine as long as you, or they:
Some people are eligible for a free pneumococcal vaccination as they’re at a higher risk of catching pneumonia. They include:
The NHS has more information on who should receive the pneumococcal vaccine due to health conditions.
The pneumococcal vaccine is a safe, easy and effective way to protect yourself or your family against the pneumococcal bacteria that cause most cases of pneumonia in the UK.
Every vaccination goes through rigorous clinical trials before it is approved for use. They are also continually monitored by experts to make sure they are safe. That said, vaccines can cause some side effects in some people. These tend to be mild and short-lasting with the pneumococcal vaccine, however.
If you can’t find the answer to your question on our website and would like to talk to someone in person, our pharmacists are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the pneumococcal vaccine. Find your nearest Well Pharmacy.
If you’re under 65 years old, you will have the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) which costs £70.
If you’re 65 years or older, you can usually receive a pneumonia vaccine from your GP. We are currently not offering the Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) in our pharmacies due to a temporary stock shortage however, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV is available for all group ages which cost £70
We’ve taken certain measures in our pharmacies to take care of our patients and colleagues during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.