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The Forgotten Bacteria, Streptococcus Pneumoniae and The Pneumococcal Vaccines

9月 13, 2022

 

1. What is a pneumococcal infection and why should I be concerned?

 

pneumococcal infection

 

Many of us have been overwhelmed with fears and questions about COVID-19 infections and vaccines but this has diverted our attention away from another serious yet preventable infectious disease. Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can cause infection in the lungs (pneumonia), ear (otitis media), brain (meningitis) and blood (bacteremia). These infections are an important cause of morbidly and mortality in adults, especially among older adults.

 

2. Who needs the pneumococcal vaccine and how does it protect you?

 

pneumococcal vaccine

 

Under the National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), all persons aged 65 years and above are recommended to get the pneumococcal vaccines. In addition, individual < 65 years old who are at risk for pneumococcal infection or severe complications from pneumococcal infection are also recommended to get the vaccinations.   Risk factors for such candidates include immune compromising conditions, chronic predisposing conditions (chronic lung, heart, kidney or liver diseases and diabetes mellitus), increased risk of meningitis (patients with cerebrospinal fluid leak, cochlear implant), abnormal spleen function, and history of invasive pneumococcal disease. Studies have shown that the pneumococcal vaccines are effective at reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with pneumococcal disease.                                                         3. I heard that there are different types of pneumococcal vaccines. How should I decide between the two?

 

injection

 

There are 2 types of vaccines available:

  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13)
  • Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (PPSV23)

 

PCV13 vaccine protects against 13 pneumococcal bacteria strains that most commonly cause pneumococcal disease, while the PPSV23 protects against 23 strains. PCV13 when given before PPSV23, provides extended protection in a selected group of patients, as compared to giving PPSV23 alone.

 

4. Are there any side effects of these vaccinations?

 

see doctor

 

Serious side effects are not common and the benefits of these vaccinations outweigh the risks in many cases. Post vaccination, some people may experience redness and soreness at the injection site; some may also experience fever, headache and body aches. However, these side effects tend to self-resolve within 2-3 days. Paracetamol can be taken to help relieve pain and fever.

 

Very rarely, serious allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) can happen within minutes to a few hours after vaccination. The symptoms include breathing difficulty, wheezing, eye or lip swelling and skin rashes. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical care immediately.

 

In conclusion, the pneumococcal vaccines are useful to prevent serious infections. Get in touch with our vaccination clinic in Singapore to find out more! We have various Healthspings clinics that are conveniently located near you; like Woodleigh Family Clinic, GP Clinic in Orchard as well as Bukit Panjang Clinic.

pneumococcal

 

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Healthsprings was established in 2000 with its first medical clinic located at Bukit Panjang. In 2001, the company ventured into the medical aesthetic field and has become one of the first Singapore-based clinics to offer Lasers, Peels, Fillers, Botulinum Injections and other aesthetic services. In 2008, Healthsprings Laser and Aesthetic is opened in Orchard Road and has been known to specialise in different aesthetic procedures for the skin, face, body, and hair.

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