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CDC Backs 2nd Pneumonia Vaccine for Seniors

Adults age 65 and older should get 2 vaccines to prevent pneumonia, U.S. health officials say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the new advice September 18. The CDC already recommends another pneumonia vaccine for older adults. That vaccine is called PPSV23 (Pneumovax). Now the CDC also recommends PCV13 (Prevnar 13), for extra protection. Both vaccines help to prevent pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia(pneumococcus) bacteria. These bacteria also can cause bloodstream infections and meningitis. The PCV13 vaccine already is recommended for children and certain high-risk adults. An expert panel that advises the CDC on vaccines voted in August to recommend this vaccine for older adults, too.  The new advice calls for everyone age 65 and older to receive both vaccines, but not at the same time.

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