LONGMEADOW The Longmeadow Board of Health has scheduled two pneumonia vaccination clinics, open to residents age 18 years or older. The first is Sept. 14 from 10 to 11 a.m., the second is Sept. 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Both clinics will take place at the Nurse's Room of the Greenwood Adult Center, 231 Maple Rd.
Pneumonia infection is a significant risk for individuals who get the flu. Pneumonia infections that are secondary to flu infections can lead to serious and even life-threatening illness.
Immunization to prevent pneumonia infection is recommended for the following high risk groups: individuals over age 65; individuals who have chronic diseases of the heart, kidney, or pulmonary (respiratory) system; diabetics or other individuals who are immuno-suppressed; individuals who smoke cigarettes; individuals with asthma.
Please note that, unlike flu shots, pneumonia shots provide long-term immunity. In general, the immunity provided by a pneumonia shot administered at or later than age 65 lasts for the remainder of one's lifetime.
If an individual received an initial pneumonia shot between the ages of 60 and 65, it is not necessary to be revaccinated until five years have elapsed from the first shot.
For individuals who were under age 60 when they received their first pneumonia shot, the revaccination is not repeated until age 65.
If there is no record of immunization for an individual within a high risk group, the recommendation is to vaccinate. The board will attempt to check its pneumonia vaccination database or contact the primary care physician when immunization history is unknown.
This immunization is free for individuals who have Medicare Part B insurance. The charge for all other individuals is $10. Call the Board of Health at 565-4140 before Sept. 9.