Pneumococcal infections are caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae which mostly lives harmlessly in the back of the nose and throat. However, sometimes the bacteria becomes invasive and causes serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis.
Fortunately an effective vaccination is available. The Department of Health recommends the national pneumococcal immunisation programme for people aged 65 or over and those in clinical risk groups. You can also call the Reception team to check if you are eligible and book an appointment for the vaccine.
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