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What are the possible adverse reactions to a pneumonia shot?

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Quick Answer

Most people who receive the pneumococcal vaccine only experience mild swelling, redness and soreness at the injection site, as WebMD details. Fever, more severe swelling, pain or redness at the injection site, and muscle aches occur in fewer than 1 percent of people who receive the pneumonia shot. In rare cases, people immediately experience a severe allergic reaction to ingredients in the vaccine with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, high fever, dizziness, hives and a rapid heart beat.

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Full Answer

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines protect adults, while doctors may instead recommend pneumococcal conjugate vaccines to infants, toddlers and adults ages 50 and older, according to WebMD. People who have previously experienced past life-threatening allergic reactions to either vaccine as well as people who have had a past severe allergic reaction to the ingredients in the vaccines should not get pneumonia shots. Anyone who experiences the symptoms of an allergic reaction to one of the pneumococcal vaccines should seek medical attention immediately.

Doctors may recommend that people who are already sick wait until they recover before getting a pneumonia shot, as WebMD explains. Doctors may also advise that people between the ages of 19 and 64 who have kidney disease, weakened immune systems due to medications, cancer, and HIV or AIDS get a second pneumococcal vaccine after five years. Because there is not enough evidence of whether the pneumonia vaccines are safe during pregnancy as of 2015, doctors recommend that pregnant women only get a pneumonia shot if it is clearly needed.

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