Also known as a pneumococcal vaccination, a pneumonia shot is given to children under the age of 5, adults who are 65 years and above and any person between the age of 6 and 64 years old with certain health conditions, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This vaccine is intended to protect people from conditions caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, such as lung, brain and blood infections.
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccinations, namely the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). Pneumococcal polysaccharide is commonly used in adults to prevent up to 23 strains of the bacteria. This vaccine is made using dead bacteria, which cannot cause an infection, according to WebMD. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is used in children, but in 2011 it was approved by the FDA to be used by adults who are 50 years of age or older.
Both pneumococcal vaccinations can be given at any time of the year. It is recommended that adults should have both vaccinations. The first vaccine given is the PCV13 vaccine, which is followed by the PPSV23 vaccine after a period of 8 weeks. In cases where an adult has already received the PPSV23 vaccine, he or she can have the PCV13 vaccine after a year.