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UCLA Health answeredPneumococcus, a type of bacteria, is the leading cause of pneumonia. Of the more than 40,000 deaths caused by these infections each year, 80% are in people over age 65. Consequently, they should receive the pneumonia vaccine, called Pneumovax, as a preventive measure. Older adults who received Pneumovax five years ago or longer, or received it when they were younger than 65, should be vaccinated again. Those who are unsure about ever getting the vaccine should get it to be certain -- and make note of it.