Pneumococcus is a common cause of pneumonia, meningitis and a serious general infection. Pneumococcus is an important pathogen among, in particular, children and people over 50 years of age, especially during the influenza season.
Age is a risk factor in pneumococcal diseases, since our immunity system weakens with age and makes us more susceptible to infections. In children, the pneumococcus bacterium may cause serious bacterial infections that require hospitalisation, as well as pneumonia and ear infections. Certain illnesses and factors, such as diabetes, chronic lung diseases (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) as well as heart and liver failure, also predispose one to pneumococcal diseases. In addition, smoking, among other things, increases the susceptibility to pneumococcal diseases.
Pneumococcus spreads as droplet infection when an infected person coughs and sneezes, but also upon contact. Therefore, proper hand hygiene is among the recommended ways to protect against diseases caused by pneumococcus. In addition, the risk of contracting a pneumococcal disease can be reduced by following a healthy lifestyle and by good management of one’s primary diseases.
A vaccine is also available for the prevention of pneumococcal diseases. The pneumococcal vaccination is particularly important for people over 65 years of age and other at-risk individuals. The pneumococcal vaccination is included in the national vaccination programme for children, but adults should ensure themselves that their vaccination is up to date. A single dose of the vaccine is enough to immunise an adult. According to the current knowledge, booster shots are not needed to maintain immunity. A pneumococcal disease is a common complication of influenza, so an annual influenza vaccination also helps one protect against diseases caused by pneumococcus.
You can book an appointment for a pneumococcal vaccination online or by calling our customer service. Pneumococcal vaccinations are also available in most locations without an appointment. Please check if your preferred location provides vaccination services by calling our customer service.
Did you know that by joining Mehiläinen’s Loyalty Program, you get the pneumococcal vaccination at a discounted price? Learn more about the benefits of the Loyalty Program!