Pneumonia can be very serious and even life-threatening. Vaccines can help prevent some types of pneumonia. Good hygiene (washing your hands often), quitting smoking, and keeping your immune system strong by getting regular physical activity and eating healthy are other ways to lower your risk of getting pneumonia.
Vaccines can help prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcus bacteria or the flu virus. Vaccines cannot prevent all cases of pneumonia. However, compared to people who don't get vaccinated, those who are vaccinated and still get pneumonia tend to have:
Two vaccines are available to prevent infections from the pneumococcus bacteria, the most common type of bacteria that causes pneumonia. Pneumococcus vaccines are especially important for people at high risk of pneumonia, including:
For more information, visit the CDC’s Pneumococcal Vaccination and Pneumococcal Vaccination: Summary of Who and When to Vaccinate pages.
Flu (influenza) vaccine
Your yearly flu vaccine can help prevent pneumonia caused by the flu. The flu vaccine is usually given in September through October, before flu season starts.
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a type of bacteria that can cause pneumonia and meningitis. The Hib vaccine is recommended for all children under 5 years old in the United States. The vaccine often is given to infants starting when they are 2 months old.
For more information about the Hib vaccine, go to the CDC's Hib Vaccination webpage.
You can take the following steps to help prevent pneumonia: