Pneumonia vaccine : I’m normally a... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

48,731 members58,011 posts

Pneumonia vaccine

Frued profile image

I’m normally a silent follower, great site. But I would be grateful for any thoughts/experiences regarding this vaccine.

I keep getting reoccurring bouts of pneumonia and hospital admissions, and then the usual oral steroids and antibiotics

Would there be merit in requesting the vaccine

44 Replies

Check with your gp. I had it I was always getting chest infections and ending up in hospital. and they to arrange pneumonia jab. I think it is o ce in every 10 years.look after yourself take care x

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Spacecat1

Thanks for the advise, I definitely have to be proactive and hopefully get some resolve. Take care

The word pneumonia refers to any bacterial infection of the air sacs in the lungs, which means pneumonia can be caused by any bacteria capable of causing a chest infection. The pneumococcal vaccine only covers one specific strain of bacteria that can cause pneumonia, so it has relatively limited efficacy. For those over 65 or with certain, chronic illnesses, then it’s absolutely a beneficial vaccine to have, but it won’t prevent pneumonia unless it’s specifically caused by streptococcal pneumoniae. Many people with chronic lung conditions would be advised to have the vaccine, but the NHS link regarding who is eligible to receive it, is here:

My daughter had it as a very young child due to her respiratory diagnosis, a family member had it as a result of relatively mild COPD, and I’ve had it myself due to an autoimmune condition. None of us had any issues, and for many it’s a one-off jab, although in some circumstances, people may have to have it every 5 years.

Hope that helps.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Charlie_G

Hi Charlie_G, thank you for taking the time to reply, very informative. I’ve read the link and hear what your saying. Whilst this has been going on for a year, a sputum test is probably the best course of action to identify the culprit

Many thanks

2greys profile image
2greys in reply to Charlie_G

I concur with that Charlie.

I had the pneumococcal vaccine in 2016 but still ended up hospitalised with community acquired pneumonia in 2019. At that time I was washing my partner's overalls and work clothes, she is a senior carer at a nursing home where pneumonia is always present. Needless to say I do not wash her work clothes any more, despite the use of PPE now.

Still worth having the vaccine though as it does offer limited protection and it is free.

Frued,Most patients with a diagnosed lung condition,regardless of age are recommended to have the vaccination,dependant on current thinking it is either a one off vaccination or repeated once every ten years and normaly delivered free of chage if you will excuse my pun at the point of delivery,may i suggest you talk to your Gp and get it organised sooner rather than later.

Best wishes Ski's and Scruff's

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to skischool

Thanks for your reply, I’m due to see the respiratory consultant soon, but will link in with my Gp , I’ve got copd so a sputum test may identify the culprit.

Thanks again

Hi Fred, talk to hospital consultant. There are actually 2 different vaccines. One vaccine usually given to adults covers 23 different common adult strains and the other vaccine given to children covers I think 13 different strains. If you suffer alot from pneumonia it may be suggested (as it was in my case) to get both vaccines but a year apart. There are many different bugs that cause it but my consultant said the vaccines help protect against the most common ones. Good luck. The more information the better.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Patty24

Thanks Patty24, I’ve never had to take so much medication in my life until my copd symptoms and infections became an issue. No complaining, just adjusting lol. I’ll be more than happy to have that conversation . Many thanks

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to Patty24

I had the pneumonia vacc about 15 years ago. Just had another one requested by my consultant. In her letter she said that a change in the vacc given to children has resulted in the one given to us not covering enough strains. So requested the one now given to children. The practice nurse told me that our practice now give all over 65s and vulnerable adults the vaccine for children. Confusing but interesting.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Littlepom

I can see the logic in that, interesting for sure. I’ve just turned 50, but given my history of repeated pneumonia I should fit the criteria. Thanks for your input, much appreciated

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to Littlepom

I was offered the pneumonia vaccine for the first time 2 years ago. My respiratory nurse at the GP practice said then that the child's vaccine was far more effective and longer lasting (adult version only being effective for about 3 years) but she said that it wasn't approved for adult use at that time. She felt though that it was the one I needed and she obtained permission from one of the GPs to give me that.

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to CDPO16

Yes my consultant said that there is a lot of confusion about the pneumonia vaccine amongst the medical profession and I believe her.

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to Littlepom

Like a lot of things it's hit and miss I think. My husband is 70 this year and still not been offered one. He has his annual review (coronary heart disease) this month and I've told him to ask about it.

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to CDPO16

Good idea.

Please see my reply to Patty.

You shouldn't have any problems in getting the pneumonia vaccination. I had one after several bouts of pneumonia, it was suggested by my respiratory nurse at annual check in 2013. I recall she was annoyed that none of the GPs I'd seen at the practice had offered it to me. My arm was a bit sore and I felt feverish for a couple of days then fine. Make sure you get your annual flu jab as well. P

My husband Pete has had two pneumonia jabs, he has COPD, and I’ve had one. Speak to your GP and get booked in. Xxx

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to sassy59

Thanks sassy59, will do , that’s the plan

I was advised to get it from my consultant due to my bronchiectasis. I had it with no problems

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to sandravale

Thanks Sandra ale, good to know

Hi Freud -

The brief answer is yes do ask your doctor for the pneumonia vaccine.

Request a referral back to a specialist if your emphysema has been unstable for some time.

Also you can requested another referral to a pulmonary rehabilitation course if you feel you have deconditioned.

From my own experience, with a diagnosis of emphysema/COPD the pneumonia vaccine should have been offered, I personally did have to request this myself after learning at a Pulmonary rehabilitation course over 17 years ago that it is given to help safeguard the already damaged lungs from further lung damage that can occur with pneumonia.

Best wishes


Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Bkin

Hi Bkin, I had my first flu jab last year and will be pursuing this for sure. I’ve been using the various breathing techniques and trying to get some exercise in to avoid deconditioning. Prior to my diagnosis of emphysema/copd I was a regularly attended the gym and was above average on the fitness scale, this has been of some benefit .

As you said, some it’s a matter of asking. Thanks for the advise

Bkin profile image
Bkin in reply to Frued

Great the annual flu vaccine is also very important to help protect the lungs from complications /damage that can be caused by influenza. Well done for keeping the fitness going. Keeping as well as we can is the most desirable. :)

As with Patty, I have had both the adult and paediatric vaccines. Every year or so they check my levels as my uptake is particularly great, and it is repeated as necessary

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Jandm

Good to know Jandm, yours and other peoples experiences have been very helpful, thanks

Hi Frued- I had a really bad bout of pneumonia around 12 years ago and I was given the pneumonia vaccine sometime later by my GP. I'm not sure of the rules and regulations regarding the vaccine now but I'm sure a chat with your GP will help you decide what to do. Personally I would have it. x Take care

I had the pneumonia injection done privately in Boots back in 2018 and it doesn't hurt and if you feel you need it then ask to have it done.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Catgirl1976


I had the pneumonia vaccine but still had pneumonia. I believe there are different variations of pneumonia as with covid or colds. They protect you from the one that could cause the most problems. I’m probably talking a lot of rubbish but my advice to you is if they will give you the vaccine I would definitely go for it.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Mavary

Unfortunately, that’s a issue with the many different variants, but definitely worth getting, thanks

Frued yes I would go to your docs and request pneumonia jab. Any one with lung condition . . . . it’s an automatic jab that is given whatever age along with the free flu jab. When I was first diagnosed nurse called me straight in for the pneumonia jab. ⏱❤️

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Timepiece

Thanks for the advise. I’ll be right on it next week

When I was diagnosed with copd I asked my doctor about a pneumonia jab and was told they only give it to those who have had 3 bouts of of it and as I haven't she refused.

When I next had my annual review the respiratory nurse asked me whether I had had it. I told her I had asked the doctor who had refused me. She tut tutted and said I was having it so gave me one there and then.

With your history though this should have been suggested and given straight away.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to hypercat54

Fingers crossed it will be straight forward. Many thanks

Hi i had the pneumonia jab at my asthma clinic in 2019. And my flu jab every year. Its peace of mind knowing you've had them. Xxxx

I requested repeatedly from GP and in the end organised it privately at Boots. It has since been suggested to me that the NHS Vaccine covers a wider spectrum and that I should continue pestering.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to clerkenwell

Many thanks

I had a pneumonia vaccine when I was fifty, apparently that was the age to have it?? I was told it would only protect against the most serious strain and that it was a one off vaccine!

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Yeo58

Hi Yeo58, Do you think you benefited from it?

Yeo58 profile image
Yeo58 in reply to Frued

Well I didn’t have any side effects and I haven’t had pneumonia so yes, I would say so. X

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Yeo58

Perfect, I’d welcome that result all day long. Thanks

I had it given to me after my flu jab couple winters back. I didn't even know of its existence! Not had any flu, pneumonia since or this Covid thing so all good.

Frued profile image
Frued in reply to Konigman

Brilliant, I could live with that 👍

You may also like...