Older adults advised to get extra protection against pneumonia
A bout of pneumonia can hit seniors especially hard. Older adults living in long-term care settings are especially vulnerable to the infection, as are smokers and others with chronic illnesses. Pneumococcal pneumonia is a lung infection accompanied by fever, cough and chest pains.
A U.S. medical advisory panel delivered recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention that seniors get two pneumonia vaccines—the traditional shot (Pneumovax 23) as well as a newer version called Prevnar 13.
Even if the older adult has already received the Pneumovax 23 vaccine, the panel recommends the Prevnar 13 shot ($135) for the additional protection it offers. Both vaccines are a one-time event for the over-65 population.
The problem is that Medicare currently will pay for only one vaccination per older adult. If the individual has already received Pneumovax 23 inoculation, priced at $68 a dose, then the more expensive Prevnar 13 will not be covered. To provide coverage, Medicare would have to change its rule, according to a Reuters article.
Sandra Hoban was on I Advance Senior Care / Long-Term Living’s editorial staff for 17 years. She is one of the country’s longest-serving senior care journalists. Before joining Long-Term Living, she was a member of the promotions department at Advanstar Communications. In addition to her editorial experience, Sandi has served past roles in print and broadcast advertising as a traffic and talent coordinator.
Topics: Advocacy , Clinical , Medicare/Medicaid