There are two types of vaccine available for bacterial pneumonia. They protect against the most common cause of pneumonia, the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is for people over 65 and anyone over the age of two in a high-risk group. This includes people with diseases like COPD or severe asthma. Most people only need to have this vaccine once. If you have a condition that affects your spleen or kidneys, you may need a vaccination every five years.
- The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), also known by the brand name Prevenar 13, is given to babies by the NHS. Babies get their first dose when they’re twelve weeks old and a booster when they’re one year old. It’s also available for adults privately from pharmacies.
To find out more about getting a pneumonia, flu, or COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your GP or call our helpline on 0300 222 5800.
Get help to stop smoking
Smokers are more likely to get pneumonia as well as other chest infections. Children whose parents smoke are also at a higher risk of getting pneumonia.
Practise good hygiene
Common winter viral infections increase the risk of pneumonia, so you should practise good hygiene to reduce the spread of germs. For example, you should:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- throw away used tissues straight away
- wash your hands often.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol weakens your immune system, making you more at risk of infections, including pneumonia.