Pneumonia can be very serious and even life threatening. When possible, take steps to prevent the infection, especially if you're in a high-risk group.
Vaccines are available to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia and the flu. Vaccines can't prevent all cases of infection. However, compared to people who don't get vaccinated, those who do and still get pneumonia tend to have:
A vaccine is available to prevent pneumococcal pneumonia. In most adults, one shot is good for at least 5 years of protection. This vaccine often is recommended for:
For more information about the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Pneumococcal Vaccination Web page.
The vaccine that helps prevent the flu is good for 1 year. It's usually given in October or November, before peak flu season.
Because many people get pneumonia after having the flu, this vaccine also helps prevent pneumonia.
For more information about the influenza vaccine, go to the CDC's Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Web page.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia and meningitis (men-in-JI-tis). (Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.) The Hib vaccine is given to children to help prevent these infections.
The vaccine is recommended for all children in the United States who are younger than 5 years old. The vaccine often is given to infants starting at 2 months of age.
For more information about the Hib vaccine, go to the CDC's Vaccines and Preventable Diseases: Hib Vaccination Web page.
You also can take the following steps to help prevent pneumonia:
If you have pneumonia, limit contact with family and friends. Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing, and get rid of used tissues right away. These actions help keep the infection from spreading.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Pneumonia, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
Visit Children and Clinical Studies to hear experts, parents, and children talk about their experiences with clinical research.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.