Pneumococcal disease is a common bacterial disease which can cause meningitis (brain infection), bacteraemia (blood poisoning) and pneumonia (lung infection). Pneumococcal bacteria are one of the most common and frequent causes of infections in adults in Canada aged 65 or older.
The best way to stay protected from pneumococcal bacteria is to get immunized. The vaccine helps to reduce the risk of life threatening illnesses by preventing diseases that are caused by the most common types of pneumococcal bacteria.
Those strongly encouraged to get vaccinated are:
- Adults 65 years of age or older
- Adults with certain chronic medical conditions (e.g. smoking-related diseases such as COPD, those without a working spleen, adults with weakened immune systems and people who are on immunosuppressive therapies)
The pneumococcal vaccine can be given, free of charge, at any time of the year in Ontario by your doctor or at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. Speak with your doctor or primary healthcare provider to discuss which adult vaccines are available and which one is right for you.
For more information on pneumococcal disease or to book your appointment to get vaccinated, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120.