With the press discussing Hillary Clinton’s recent bout with pneumonia, there is no better time for a reminder about pneumonia - a fully vaccine-preventable infection.
Pneumonia is a common but serious infection of one or both lungs, caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. Anyone, regardless of age, can acquire pneumonia. The infection causes symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, high temperature, and pain in the side of the chest. Full recovery can take weeks, or even months.
Pneumonia is commonly acquired by young children, individuals with chronic conditions, and older adults. The immune systems of these population groups are, respectively, building immunity, coping with strained immune systems, or declining slightly in efficiency.
Even though vaccines are available to prevent cases of pneumonia, 600,000 to 800,000 adults worldwide succumb to the disease each year. In the United States alone, pneumonia is among the top ten leading causes of death.
A simple preventative tool such as vaccination can mitigate the severe risks of pneumonia. Nonetheless, vaccination is severely underutilized in the older adult population, where uptake rates remain well below the recommended percentages. Ensuring older adults are up-to-date with appropriate vaccinations can reduce unnecessary infections, associated complications, and hospitalizations.
With this in mind, it is important to know the approved pneumococcal vaccines and the populations they are recommended for:
• The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) protects against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria and is recommended for children under the age of 5 years, all adults 65 years and older and adults 19 years or older with conditions that weaken the immune system.
• The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) protects against 23 types of pneumococcal bacteria and is recommended for those 2 years or older and all adults 65 years and older that are at high risk for this infection.
IFA’s Expertfile is home to a number of top international experts on adult vaccination, all whom are available for media comment and speaking opportunities on this pressing issue.
Prof. Paolo Bonanni Director of the Specialization School for MDs in Hygiene and Preventative Medicine
Professor Bonanni's scientific activity has covered the epidemiology and prevention of infectious diseases
Dr. Mine Durusu-Tanriover Professor of Internal Medicine
Author of more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Durusu-Tanriover's research area mainly consists of acute care and adult vaccination
Dr. E. David G. McIntosh Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer
Dr E. David G. McIntosh is an Australian paediatrician, Vaccinologist and Infectious Disease Specialist.
Dr. Maria De Lourdes Garcia-Garcia Deputy Director
Dr. Garcia-Garcia has been interested in research in infectious diseases particularly tuberculosis and vaccine preventable diseases
Dr. Luis M. Gutierrez Robledo Director General
Dr. Gutiérrez is a Mexican scholar trained in France in geriatric medicine and the biology of aging
Dr. Endre Ludwig Medical Doctor
Medical Doctor at the Semmelweis Medical University and specializes in Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Infectology
Dr. Jean-Pierre Michel Professor of Geriatric Medicine
Dr. Jean-Pierre Michel is a full Professor of Medicine at Geneva University Medical School and head of the geriatric ward
Dr. Ian Philp Deputy Medical Director
Dr. Philp joined Heart of England NHS Foundation on 7 July as Deputy Medical Director for Older People
Prof. Roman Prymula Director
Dr. Prymula is involved in various research activities in preventive medicine, including clinical development of new vaccines
Dr. Regina Roller-Wirnsberger President
Professor of Geriatrics and Competency Based Curriculum Development at the Medical University of Graz in the Department of Internal Medicine
Prof. David Salisbury President, Governing Council
Trained as a paediatrician in Oxford and London, and is a visiting professor at Imperial College, London
Dr. Serhat Unal Chair of Department of Infectious Disease
Dr. Unal is the previous Dean of the School of Medicine and Chair of Department of Internal Medicine.