How effective are pneumococcal vaccines in the prevention of bacterial pneumonia, and who is at highest risk for pneumococcal pneumonia?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Although pneumococcal vaccines are effective, they are unfortunately underused. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of fatal pneumonia and pneumonia overall. The incidence of pneumococcal disease is the highest in children younger than two years and in adults older than 65 years. Other important risk factors for pneumococcal pneumonia are chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, cigarette smoking, and asplenia.


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