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Pneumococcal Vaccine (Pneumovax)

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Updated November 30, 2008

Classification:

  • A vaccine given to protect against several types of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Form:

  • Intramuscular Injection

Recommendations:

The following people should be vaccinated:
  • Adults who are 65yrs of age or older
  • people 2-64yrs of age who have chronic illness or other risk factors
  • people living in special environments or social settings (including Alaska Natives and certain American Indian populations)
  • those at highest risk of fatal pneumococcal infection
  • immunocompromised persons including those with HIV infection
  • those who received an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • pregnant women with high-risk conditions

Instructions:

  • Routinely given as a one-time dose; administer if previous vaccination history is unknown.
  • One-time re-vaccination is recommended 5yrs later for people at highest risk of fatal pneumococcal infection or rapid antibody loss (e.g., renal disease) and for people >65yrs of age if the 1st dose was given prior to age 65 and >5yrs have elapsed since previous dose
  • May give with all other vaccines but as a separate injection.

Contraindications:

  • Previous anaphylactic reaction to this vaccine or to any of its components.
  • Moderate or severe acute illness.
  • Pregnancy or breast feeding is NOT a contraindication.

For More Information:

For more information about the Pneumovax vaccine, try About.com's Drug Finder.

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