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I keep getting pneumonia

Hello all

I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience....Despite getting the pneumon-vax vaccination some years ago, I keep getting pneumonia. I have had it 6 or 7 times in the past 5 years, always warranting an admission (including ITU).

Now, my resp consultant is checking my immunoglobulin levels to see if, for some reason, my immunity is suppressed. (I have constant, intractable oral thrush which does not respond to treatment, which may point to immuno-suppression).

Has anyone else experienced this? I go back for my blood test results in two weeks.

I would appreciate hearing posters' experiences / thoughts / advice on this....

Many thanks,



6 Replies


I think the pneumo vax is only aimed at one type of pneumonia -

You can get viral and or bacterial.

It is like getting the flu jab - it is effective only against that specific mutant that has been identified and cultured. The flu virus and other bugs are constantly evolving different protein coats (??) and their DNA changes too! Therefore, if we are vacinated against one type, our bodies learn to become imune to that specific type but 6 months later, when the virus has changed its coat etc our bodies imune system will not have the antibodies specific to that one.

I think if your imune system in't working properly, your body may not produce the specific antibodies if you are vacinated.

There are 3 forms of vaccination that all have the virus or bacteria in various forms.

Dead = the virus is dead but the body can still produce anti bodies against it

Attenuated = half dead or weakened = needs alittle life in it to promote a responce

Live = the virus is live & kicking but in a very tiny amount! That specific virus needs to be alive to promote an antibody responce. egTyphoid or Cholera - eeeeuuuuk! these can make you feel very lousy for 24 hrs but better than catching typhoid!

Regards oral thrush - I take a weeks course of oral Fluconazone ( Diflucan) 50mg or even 150mg to clobber it - it can be taken for longer I think!

hope this explains things a bit!




One other thing the vaccine is not 100% effective, it's something like 60-70% effective. Therefore it will not protect you completely.

Also I had a major problem with oral thrush last year. I tried everything incl complimentary therapies and nystatin did nothing. I was put on fluconazole, an anti-fungal for 4 months or so taking 150mg once a week and it worked! WOuld really recommend it if nothing else is working

Em xx


Thanks Kate and Emily,

That info is very useful. I have had fluconazole for my thrush, but only for two weeks at a time (daily dose of 50mgs I think it was), but I will discuss with my doctor taking it for longer at a weekly dose.

Thanks again!!!!





Hello Sleepmazza,

I would imagine your doctor is checking your immune system for one of the 'Primary Immunodeficiencies' - you can find out more about these on the Association website: pia.org.uk (you might have to ignore any spaces inserted).

I think one or two people who post on here have got one of these diagnoses, and various treatments are used.

Personally I have a 'specific antibody deficiency' - not one of the big ones, but it means that I don't produce antibodies to some types of bacteria, including those that the pneumovax should protect against. For many people this type of disorder may cause no problems and will never be diagnosed, but for others it will need treatment. I take antibiotics every day, and also receive an intravenous infusion once every three weeks to supply the antibodies my own body doesn't produce. You'll find out much more about this treatment on the PIA website - for many it is [literally] a life-saver, but it does have some fairly hefty risks attached.

Hope this is of some use - you'll probably receive the most help from the PIA messageboard as these problems are quite rare so specific questions will be more easily answered by the people who know about these things on that forum.

Good luck!


Many thanks for that link Carrie, I am just going to look at the website now.




I haven't had a week since November where I haven't had an infection - I have asked my consultant to refer me to Immunologist but he says they don't exist? is this right??


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