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Pneumonia is a common and serious respiratory infection that affects the lungs that is caused by various infections including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and also some parasites.

The pneumonia vaccine is essential for preventing pneumococcal and other bacterial or viral pneumonias, especially in high risk populations. Pneumonia can be severe, especially in young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or underlying health conditions.

The Pneumonia vaccine, along with measures such as following good hygiene and avoiding exposure to pneumonia, can help reduce the risk and its complications.

Vaccination Price per dose Price per course
 Pneumonia  £72  £72


Preventing pneumonia is done by a combination of the pneumonia vaccination, good hygiene practices, and lifestyle choices that promote a healthy immune system. Here are some important preventive measures:

Vaccination: Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to prevent pneumonia and its complications.

Good Hygiene: Practicing good hygiene can help reduce the risk of respiratory infections including pneumonia:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing, or when in public places.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers when soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of used tissues properly.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who have respiratory infections, such as the flu or a cold.

    Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: A healthy immune system can help defend against infections. Here are some ways to maintain a strong immune system:

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.
  • Get enough sleep and manage stress.

    Avoid Smoking and Second-hand Smoke: Smoking damages the lungs and weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections like pneumonia. Avoid smoking, and if you are a smoker, seek help to quit. Additionally, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke.

    Manage Underlying Health Conditions: If you have chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory conditions, work with your GP or healthcare professional to manage them effectively. Properly managaged health conditions can reduce the risk of complications from respiratory infections like pneumonia.

    Seek Prompt Medical Attention: If you develop symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and improve outcomes.

  • Countries at risk

    Pneumonia is widespread and can occur in any country around the world. All countries, regardless of their level of development or healthcare infrastructure, have populations susceptible to pneumonia. However, certain factors can increase the risk of pneumonia in different regions. These factors include:

  • Age and Vulnerable Populations: Infants, young children, older adults (especially those over 65 years), and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing pneumonia. Therefore, countries with large populations of vulnerable individuals may see higher rates of pneumonia.
  • Environmental Factors: Regions with extreme temperatures or poor air quality may have an increased risk of pneumonia. Cold weather and air pollution can irritate the respiratory system and make individuals more susceptible to infections.
  • Malnutrition: Countries with higher rates of malnutrition, particularly among children, can have a increased incidence of pneumonia. Malnutrition weakens the immune system and makes individuals more susceptible to infections.
  • Access to Healthcare: Lack of access to healthcare services or limited availability of vaccines can contribute to a higher risk of pneumonia, especially in areas with limited resources.
  • Seasonal Variations: Some countries may experience higher rates of pneumonia during specific seasons, such as the winter months when respiratory infections are more common.
  • Underlying Health Conditions: The presence of certain underlying health conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, heart disease, or chronic respiratory diseases, can increase the risk of pneumonia. Countries with high rates of these conditions may in turn have a higher pneumonia burden.

  • Sign and Symptoms

    Pneumonia displays a range of signs and symptoms, which can vary depending on the cause of the infection, the individual's age, overall health, and the severity of the condition. Common signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Cough: A cough that may produce a thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained phlegm or mucus.
  • Fever: A high body temperature is common with pneumonia, especially in bacterial infections.
  • Breathing Difficulty: Shortness of breath or rapid/shallow breathing, particularly noticeable during physical activity.
  • Rapid Heart Rate: An increase in heart rate.
  • Chest Pain: Chest pain that worsens with breathing or coughing.
  • Fatigue: Feeling unusually tired or weak.
  • Chills: Cold or shivering sensations.
  • Headache: Some individuals may experience headaches.
  • Loss of Appetite: Decreased appetite or not feeling hungry.
  • Confusion: In older adults or individuals with severe pneumonia, confusion or changes in mental awareness may occur.

    It's essential to understand that pneumonia symptoms can range from mild to severe, and some people, particularly older adults and individuals with chronic health conditions, may exhibit atypical or subtle signs. In infants and young children, pneumonia symptoms can differ, including:

  • Rapid or labored breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Refusing to feed or eat
  • Bluish lips or nail beds (cyanosis)

    Severe cases of pneumonia can lead to complications, such as pleural effusion (fluid accumulation around the lungs), respiratory failure, or septic shock.

    If you or someone you know experiences symptoms suggestive of pneumonia, seek medical attention promptly, especially if symptoms are severe or worsening. Early diagnosis and treatment result in better outcomes and prevent the potential complications of pneumonia.