Protect Yourself From Pneumonia

December 2017

By Fred Cheng, R.Ph. and Christine Cheng, R.Ph.

Pneumonia is a serious lung infection with potentially dire consequences. Most people recover on their own at home, but others who are at higher risk, such as the old and the young, and people with low immunity or other diseases may require treatment in hospital. We definitely want to do what we can to prevent contraction of the infection as well as prevent the escalation of pneumonia.
Preventing yourself from getting the flu can greatly reduce the likelihood of getting a secondary pneumonia infection. The most feasible way to guard against any flu and pneumonia infection is to practice good hygiene, including frequent hand-washing, avoiding direct contact with people who are infected, and getting the proper vaccinations. Quitting smoking will also dramatically reduce your risk of further lung complications. 
The best way to prepare your immunity for a pneumonia infiltration is by getting the recommended series of pneumonia vaccines. The confusion is that there are two kinds of vaccines available: a sugar-, or “polysaccharide”-based vaccine called PNEUMOVAX 23™, and a newer protein-based vaccine, a “conjugate” vaccine called PREVNAR 13™. To elicit the strongest and most long-lasting, effective immune response, PREVNAR 13™ should be given first, followed by PNEUMOVAX 23™ given at least 8 weeks later (but preferably a year apart). This is because PREVNAR 13™ can stimulate the memory cells in the immune system, so, when given first, this vaccine activates the memory portion of the immune system towards pneumonia. This process must be given adequate time to develop, hence a minimum of 8 weeks is required before you get the PNEUMOVAX 23™ shot to “boost” the response and memory for pneumonia protection. If you received a PNEUMOVAX 23™ shot before you turned 65y.o. and 5 years has passed, then you should be getting one more dose of it when possible. Note that anyone who is allergic to diphtheria-containing vaccines should not get a PREVNAR 13™ shot because it is attached to a diphtheria protein.
Your physician can best assess which vaccinations you require based on your history and current needs, and (s)he is the person you must seek for a proper diagnosis should you develop symptoms. Be sure to ask your pharmacist for the latest information on vaccines available in your area, and many pharmacists can give you a shot right in the pharmacy. An integrative pharmacy such as Cloverdale Pharmasave and Pharmasave Steveston Village has the expertise to help you deal with symptoms of infection using both traditional and natural means.

Christine and Fred Cheng are a passionate, charismatic sister-brother pharmacist team at their unique, family-owned and operated Pharmasave stores in Cloverdale and Steveston Village, B.C. They specialize in natural remedies and compounding for both human and veterinarian use. Everything mentioned in their article is available In-Store.

***All information posted and shared by Cloverdale Pharmasave is offered to provide information and choices regarding nutritional support for various health concerns, none of which is intended to be a treatment protocol for any disease state. The information does not replace seeking professional advice from your physician. Consult your health care practitioner before taking dietary supplements.

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