The pneumococcal vaccine protects against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections. It's also known as the pneumonia vaccine.
Pneumococcal infections are caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae and can lead to pneumonia, septicaemia (a kind of blood poisoning) and meningitis.
At their worst, they can cause permanent brain damage, or even kill.
Am I Eligible for a free pneumonia vaccination?
The PPV vaccine is available on the NHS in pharmacies for adults aged from 18 to 64 years old who are at a higher risk of developing a pneumococcal infection than the general population.
This is generally the same people who are eligible for annual flu vaccination.
You're considered to be at a higher risk of a pneumococcal infection if you have:
People aged 65 years and over
Chronic respiratory disease aged 18 to 64 years
Chronic heart disease aged 18 to 64 years
Chronic kidney disease aged 18 to 64 years
Chronic liver disease aged 18 to 64 years
Diabetes aged 18 to 64 years
Immunosuppression & asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen aged 18 to 64 years
Individuals with cochlear implants aged 18 to 64 years
Adults who are severely immunocompromised (including anyone with leukaemia, multiple myeloma, genetic disorders affecting the immune system, or after a bone marrow transplant) usually have a single dose of PCV followed by PPV.