The pneumonia vaccine has been shown to help prevent a variety of infections, including pneumonia, that are caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, according to WebMD. This bacteria can also cause meningitis and septicemia. There are a variety of strains of the bacteria, so not all shots will protect against all strains.
There are two pneumonia shots available. One is the PCV13 shot, which was approved in 2011 by the Food and Drug Administration to be used in patients who are 50 years of age and older, notes WebMD. The PCV13 vaccine is now used in more than 120 countries, notes HealthLine.
The second pneumonia shot is the PPSV23 shot, which protects against 23 strains of the bacteria, notes WebMD. This vaccine is made with dead bacteria, so it will not make patients sick.