By Jeff Rothstein I October 6, 2020

Today in 2020, we keep hearing about the dangerous spread of Covid-19; but did you know that about 1 million Americans go to the hospital with pneumonia every year? In fact, nearly 50,000 Americans over the age of 65 die from complications due to Pneumonia.

Pneumonia is a lung infection caused by pneumococcal disease. This dangerous disease can also cause blood infections and meningitis. The bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease spreads by direct person-to-person contact. The pneumonia vaccine can help prevent pneumonia, but only 67% of adults 65 and over have ever gotten it. Pneumonia combined with Covid-19 in folks over 65 is almost certain to be a death sentence. However, there are proven vaccines that minimize your chance of contracting Pneumonia.

Medicare Part B covers the pneumonia vaccine, which means that if you have a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan, your copay may be as low as $0. The vaccine is given as 2 pneumococcal shots. You may be at a higher risk for pneumonia if you:

  • Are 65 or older
  • Have a chronic illness (like asthma, diabetes, or lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease)
  • Have a condition that weakens your immune system (like HIV, AIDS, or cancer)
  • Live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
  • Have cochlear implants or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks
  • Smoke tobacco

The CDC states that now more than ever, it’s important for those at increased risk for these diseases to get recommended vaccines for the flu and pneumococcal disease.

For more information on Medicare, call Jeff Rothstein at South Florida Medicare, 954-270-9114.