Submitted by the Bedford Health Department
Each year in the United States, about 18,000 adults 65 years or older die and thousands more end up in the hospital because of pneumococcal disease. The best way to prevent pneumococcal disease is by getting vaccinated.
Pneumococcal disease is caused by the Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria which can lead to serious infections of the lung (pneumonia), blood (bacteremia) and the covering of the brain (meningitis). The risk of getting Pneumococcal disease is significantly higher for adults 65 years of age and older. Younger people who have long-term health problems, diseases leading to a weakened immune system, or who are taking drugs or treatments that lower the body’s resistance to infection are also at risk. In addition, any adult who is a smoker or has asthma is recommended to receive the vaccine.
The CDC recommends that all adults 65 years or older and those with certain medical conditions receive two types of pneumococcal vaccines; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar13) which protects against 13 strains of pneumococcus bacteria; Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Pneumovax23) which protects against 23 strains of pneumococcus bacteria. There are specific recommendations for each vaccine in respect to when and what previous doses may have been given. If you have questions regarding whether you should receive the vaccines, you are advised to call your medical provider.
The Bedford Board of Health is providing Pneumococcal vaccination opportunities to Bedford residents during the month of January 2019. You may contact the Board of Health office at (781) 275-6507 to answer screening questions and to schedule an appointment. Please bring your Medicare, or other insurance, card to your appointment. The vaccine will be given in the Board of Health Office in the Town Center Building (yellow building behind Town Hall), 12 Mudge Way, Flint Room; second Floor. Please wear clothing that allows for easy access to your shoulders. There is a limited amount of vaccine available and it will be distributed on a first come first served basis.