Pneumococcal disease is serious and can be deadly. In the US, pneumococcal pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections (sepsis) kill tens of thousands each year, including thousands of adults age 65 years and older. Getting vaccinated can help you avoid serious health dangers.
An estimated 150,000 US adults are hospitalized with pneumococcal pneumonia each year. About 1 in 20 individuals who get pneumococcal pneumonia will die. The death rate is higher among adults age 65 years and older.
Pneumococcal meningitis can be deadly. People who survive pneumococcal meningitis can suffer from devastating health problems like hearing loss, seizures, blindness, and paralysis.
Pneumococcal bloodstream infections can be deadly. For those who survive, recovery is not easy. Treatment requires hospitalization, and patients often need weeks or months before returning to normal activities.
Getting pneumococcal vaccines as recommended reduces your chance of contracting and dying from pneumococcal disease. Two types of pneumococcal vaccines (conjugate and polysaccharide) are available in the US. Talk to your healthcare professional about pneumococcal vaccination.