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What You Need to Know About the Pneumonia Vaccine

You’ve probably heard that diabetes increases your risk for certain health complications, but did you know that pneumonia is on the list?

Diabetes may increase your chance of getting pneumonia (an infection in one or both lungs). Once you have it, you’re more likely than someone without diabetes to become seriously ill.  Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy way to reduce your risk: Get the pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine.

Protect Yourself

The pneumococcal vaccine guards against the majority of pneumococcal bacteria, which are the most common cause of pneumonia in the United States. These same bacteria can also cause bacteremia (a blood infection) or meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord). The pneumococcal vaccine helps protect you against such severe illnesses.

While the vaccine can’t prevent every single case of pneumonia, you’re likely to have a milder case and fewer major complications if you’ve been vaccinated.

Stay Up to Date

The American Diabetes Association recommends that everyone with diabetes should receive the pneumococcal vaccine. The protection lasts for years. Most people only need one shot until age 64. At age 65 or older, you may need to be vaccinated again if your first shot was more than five years ago. Ask your doctor whether you’re up to date.

Visit your local Rite Aid Pharmacy to get your pneumococcal vaccine today!


“Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Ages 19 Years and Older—United States, 2013.” ACIP Adult Immunization Work Group. MMWR, 2013, vol. 62, pp. 9-19,

“Fast Facts About Pneumococcal Pneumonia.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Pneumococcal Vaccination.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Pneumonia.” National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

“Risk Factors and Transmission.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes—2013.” American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care, 2013, vol. 36, suppl. 1, S11-S66,