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Can Pneumonia Be Prevented?

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The best way to prevent pneumonia is to get your vaccinations. The flu vaccine which protects against influenza is the most important way to prevent against pneumonia. Commonly, patients when they get influenza, can be at risk for developing pneumonia. This is thought to be because the influenza virus weakens the body's immune system and allows it to be attacked by a bacteria on top of it.

For patients who are 65 and older, it is recommended that they also get a vaccine called the pneumonia vaccine. The pneumonia vaccine protects against the most common form of pneumonia, which is from a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It does not protect against all types of pneumonia, it is important to get this vaccine because strep pneumonia can be one of the most difficult to treat.