Top Five Reasons for Adults to Get Vaccinated Against Pneumococcal Disease

  Pneumococcal disease is serious and deadly. It causes pneumonia, meningitis and blood infections. Thousands of adults in the US die each year from the most severe forms of the disease. Getting vaccinated can help you avoid serious health dangers. 

  Most pneumococcal deaths in the US are in adults. Yet about 70 million adults at highest risk remain unvaccinated, leaving them vulnerable. If you’re at risk, the vaccine is the safest, most effective way to protect yourself. 

  Pneumococcal meningitis kills about one in three people who get it. People who survive pneumococcal meningitis can suffer from devastating health problems like hearing loss, seizures, blindness, and paralysis. 

  Up to one in five adults with pneumoccoal blood infection (bacteremia) will die. For those who survive, recovery is not easy. Treatment requires hospitalization, and patients often need weeks or months before returning to normal activities. 

  Getting sick with pneumococcal disease would seriously disrupt your life. Being hospitalized or seriously ill at home can lead to lost work and require patients to seek help to care for family or tend to other responsibilities. Vaccination, on the other hand, takes far less time, money and energy, and it’s paid for by Medicare and most insurers for those who need it.

  Talk to your healthcare professional if you or anyone in your family is at risk. It can mean the difference between life and death.

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November 2010