I saw my doctor yesterday for a routine check-up and can confirm there is now a second type of pneumonia vaccine — PCV13 (Prevnar 13) — being recommended for seniors. It is different from the one most of us have already gotten — PPSV23 (Pneumovax). I got mine today and although your experience may be different, the only side effect I’ve noticed is minor soreness and redness at the injection site.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) is recommended for all children younger than 5 years old, all adults 65 years or older, and people 6 years or older with certain risk factors.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) is recommended for all adults 65 years or older. People 2 years through 64 years of age who are at high risk of pneumococcal disease should also receive PPSV23.
Both vaccines have been available for some time, but the CDC had not previously recommended the second vaccine for seniors.
Be sure to ask your doctor about this second pneumonia vaccine before the winter flu and pneumonia season begins.