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PCV-13 and PPSV-23
Sep 3, 2017

I'm 61 and took the PCV-13 vaccine last Sept. I never had pneumonia, no health issues, good labs. In January, I came down with pneumonia and was hospitalize for 11 days. I've been told to take the PPSV-23 this Sept., but I'm hesitant to do so because of the aforementioned experience. The pneumonia episode was very bad. Should I take the PPSV-23 this Sept.?? Thanks.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

There are multiple causes of pneumonia, bacterial, viral, fungal and others. It's unfortunate that you developed pneumonia last year- this wasn't caused by the PCV-13 vaccination, but if anything points out your vulnerability to pneumonia.

Regarding pneumococcal (one family of bacteria) infections, the US CDC says: "Each year in the United States, pneumococcal disease causes thousands of infections, such as meningitis, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and ear infections. Pneumococcal vaccines are very good at preventing severe disease, needing treatment in the hospital, and death."

So in short, yes. You should receive both the PCV-13 (Prevnar 13) and PPV-23 (Pneumovax) vaccinations to decrease your risk of certain (but not all) types of common bacterial pneumonia. Both are highly recommended in US HIV primary care guidelines and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Accordingly, I routinely offer them to all of my patients living with HIV.

I hope that's helpful, BY

Undetectable untransmitable
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