By Kim DeMagistris, PharmD, RPh
Price Chopper Supermarkets
Flu season is fast approaching and, before you know it, the holidays will be here! This is a great time of year to talk to your pharmacist about your vaccination history and to be sure that you are up to date.
Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now recommends two pneumonia shots for adults 65 years and older? The idea is that if seniors receive two pneumonia vaccinations, the chance of developing pneumonia will dramatically decrease. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause difficulty breathing. Patients that develop pneumonia may be hospitalized and even suffer death.
So what do you need and when?
There are two types of pneumonia vaccines available, Prevnar-13 and Pneumovax-23. Adults 65 years and older would first receive Prevnar-13 and then, a year later, Pneumovax-23. If you are over the age of 65 and you have already had Pneumovax-23, talk to your pharmacist about the best time for you to get the Prevnar-13 vaccine. Seniors 65 years and older should talk to their physicians about whether they need both vaccines.
Not sure of your history or what you need? That is okay too. Talk to your pharmacist. They will work with your health-care provider to help make sure that you get the vaccines that you need.
Pneumonia can be a deadly disease, so it is important to do what you can to prevent it. Both the Prevnar-13 and Pneumovax-23 vaccinations are well tolerated and your pharmacist can discuss potential side effects with you.
Stop by your local Market32/Price Chopper pharmacy for a personalized immunization recommendation, and don’t forget to ask about your shingles shot and discuss that with your doctor as well.
LiveSmart supports the Classroom Enrichment Fund at the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and is made possible by donations from St. Peter’s Health Partners and Price Chopper, with promotional services provided by the Times Union and WNYT/NewsChannel 13. LiveSmart is compiled by Helen Susan Edelman, Project Director. This project ensures 70,000 students and teachers in the Capital Region have equal access to news content during the school year.