Both types of vaccines are safe and highly effective in preventing pneumococcal disease.
How long will your protection last?
However, one offers longer lasting protection than the other. Once your immune system responds to an infection, it remembers the harmful bacteria and stores the information in its memory cells. If the bacteria returns, your body can more readily fight against it. This is called immunological memory. When the memory of a specific invader wears off, so does the protection.
Better memory means better protection
Vaccines such the Pneumo 23® and Pneumovax 23® provide protection for a limited time and don’t help your body develop immunological memory. Protection could wear off in a few years, and you may need a booster shot depending on your unique needs.12
In contrast, Prevnar13®
does spark immunological memory, meaning that a single dose could be enough for lifelong protection.12
Click to watch: How does a vaccine work?
DID YOU KNOW?
A study in 2008 evaluated patients who they identified as at risk for heart attacks, and looked back in their records to see their pneumococcal vaccination status. They found that, compared to controls, the patients who were vaccinated against pneumococcus at least 2 years prior had a 50% reduction in the risk of heart attack. Stay tuned for more exciting research!13