Flu shot does not prevent pneumonia
Dr. Christopher Bonati, MD is a family medicine physician at the Banner Health Center in Verrado, opening this month. For more information on this topic, talk with your physician or call 602-230-CARE (2273).
Question: "I'm in my 60s and always get my yearly flu shot. Will that vaccine also protect me against pneumonia?"
Answer: While the flu vaccine is so important to your health, it can't protect you against pneumonia on its own. Pneumonia is very serious and our nation's leading cause of death among vaccine-preventable illnesses.
While anyone can get pneumonia, certain groups are more vulnerable to it, including anyone over 65 years old, children under 2, those with heart or lung disease, and others who have chronic health conditions affecting the immune system.
Fortunately, there is a safe and effective pneumonia vaccine available which guards against many strains of the illness. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that anyone over the age of 65 and others in high-risk categories get a pneumonia vaccine annually.
You should talk with your doctor during your next visit or yearly wellness appointment to discuss which vaccines are recommended for you based on your health history and age.