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Pneumococcal Disease

My doctor said I should also get an annual flu shot. Why do I need both vaccines?

Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines protect against two different diseases, both of which can cause serious, life-threatening illnesses and both diseases involve the lungs.

Influenza is the winter virus that can affect even healthy people, causing an illness that is so severe it can result in hospitalization.

The pneumococcus is a germ that can cause pneumonia and other infections such as in the bloodstream (bacteremia) and lining of the brain (meningitis). It is especially good at causing pneumonia as a complication of influenza infection. So you can understand why it is so important to be vaccinated to get protection against both influenza and the pneumococcus. Both vaccines are very safe.