Pneumococcal Vaccines and Vaccinations in the West Midlands

We provide a full range of travel vaccinations and medication in the West Midland area

Image of Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal vaccine

Pneumonia is a serious chest infection caused by the Streptococcus Pneumoniae virus. It is most common in the winter months. At the West Midlands Travel Clinic we can discuss with you the Pneumococcal Vaccine and guide you in the right direction when travelling abroad.

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Vaccination Pricing:

£79 per course

Who is at risk?

Pneumonia can affect anyone of any age, but it’s more common and can be more serious in certain groups of people including:

  • Elderly people
  • People who smoke
  • People with other health conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or a heart, kidney or liver condition
  • People with a weakened immune system

The Vaccination

Ages (Years) Doses Required Schedule Boost Required
2 years and older 1 N/A N/A

How do you catch Pneumococcal?

Pneumococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus. This bacterium can cause various infections, including pneumonia, meningitis, and ear and sinus infections. Pneumococcal disease is typically transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets. Here are the common ways in which pneumococcal infections can be contracted:

  1. Respiratory droplets: When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the pneumococcus bacteria can be released into the air. If a person nearby inhales these contaminated droplets, they may become infected.
  2. Close contact: Direct contact with an infected person, such as kissing or sharing eating utensils, can also lead to transmission of the bacteria.
  3. Contaminated surfaces: Pneumococcus bacteria can survive on surfaces for a short period of time. Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes can facilitate the transmission of the bacteria.

Certain populations may be at a higher risk of pneumococcal disease, including:

  • Infants and young children
  • Older adults
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing immunosuppressive treatment
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or kidney disease
  • Smokers and individuals exposed to secondhand smoke
  • People living in crowded environments, such as college dormitories or long-term care facilities

Prevention of pneumococcal disease is possible through vaccination. Vaccines are available that can provide protection against the most common strains of pneumococcus bacteria. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, can help reduce the risk of transmission.

Who is at risk from Pneumococcal?

Certain populations are considered to be at a higher risk of developing pneumococcal disease. These include:

  1. Young children: Children under the age of two are at an increased risk of pneumococcal infections, including pneumonia and meningitis.
  2. Older adults: Adults aged 65 years and older are more susceptible to pneumococcal infections, especially pneumonia. Aging weakens the immune system, making older adults more vulnerable to severe complications.
  3. Individuals with weakened immune systems: People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, organ transplants, or certain autoimmune diseases, have a higher risk of pneumococcal infections.
  4. Individuals with chronic medical conditions: Certain chronic health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease, can increase the risk of pneumococcal infections.
  5. Smokers: Smoking damages the respiratory system and weakens the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to pneumococcal infections, particularly pneumonia.
  6. People living in crowded environments: Individuals living in crowded settings, such as college dormitories, military barracks, or long-term care facilities, have a higher risk of exposure to pneumococcal bacteria and subsequent infection.

It's important to note that vaccination is available to help prevent pneumococcal disease. Vaccination is particularly recommended for individuals in high-risk groups, including young children, older adults, and those with underlying health conditions. Vaccination not only protects individuals from pneumococcal infections but also reduces the overall transmission of the bacteria within communities.

Symptoms of Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal disease can manifest in various forms, depending on the part of the body affected by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. Here are the common symptoms associated with different types of pneumococcal infections:

  1. Pneumonia:
  • High fever
  • Cough with sputum production
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Bluish coloration of lips and nails (in severe cases)
  1. Meningitis:
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • High fever
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion or altered mental status
  • Seizures
  • Sleepiness or difficulty waking up
  1. Sinusitis:
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Nasal congestion
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  1. Otitis media (Ear infection):
  • Ear pain
  • Earache
  • Fever
  • Hearing loss or difficulty hearing
  • Fluid drainage from the ear

In severe cases, pneumococcal disease can lead to complications such as bacteremia (bloodstream infection) or sepsis, which can cause a rapid deterioration of health and organ failure.

It's important to note that symptoms can vary depending on the age and overall health of the affected individual. Infants and young children may exhibit different symptoms compared to adults. If you or someone you know experiences symptoms suggestive of a pneumococcal infection, it is important to seek medical attention promptly for diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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