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Old 05-22-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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Question Pneumonia Vaccination

Last summer I heard on the radio that people over 60 should get a pneumonia vaccination. So I went to my doctor and requested one. She really gave me the riot act and said no because I didn't need one. That I had no indications that would flag that situation.
I explained that I had smoked for some 47 years, but had been quit now close to 4 years. That I had pneumonia already at least twice, but she was very firm that she would not give me the vaccination.
Well in the winter I came down with pneumonia and I had to get to the emergency room which cost $2,257.00 to be there 2½ hours, but at least they did find I had a spot on my lungs.
Well determined not to go back to the first doctor I found another doctor to do the follow up visit after the pneumonia. I asked her "How do I know the spot was pneumonia or is it lung cancer since I smoked for so many years". She said the only way would be another x-ray.
Well I contacted the hospital to see if I could get it done there. This lady told me where to contact an imaging company that would do it and throw it in with my other bill, but I would have to go back to my doctor and have her set up the appointment. The second doctor when I called had left town, a break up with her husband or something so I went back to the first doctor to see if she would set it up.
The first doctor says that I should only get a pneumonia vaccination before I am 65, which I am 63 plus she said that smoking is not an indication for pneumonia or cancer that only diabetes is which seems odd to me also.
Now she has sent me a registered letter that she is not my doctor and that I should find another one, which I told her on the phone that I did and will again.
I hear raves about our wonderful healthcare system, but I'll tell you it has not been wonderful in my sight.
Please someone give me an opinion as to what I should do?

 
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Strange that your doctor would refuse to give a common vaccine (or, if she is in a small practice that does not stock it, refuse to either order it or tell you where to get it).

Pneumonia vaccine should be available in some local pharmacies, just like influenza vaccine. The usual kind available in the US vaccinates against 23 common strains, although there could still be strains that it does not vaccinate against (an older type vaccinated against 14 strains).

Here is the US CDC's information on the pneumonia vaccine:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/vac-pneumo-pubs.htm

Go find a doctor that you trust.

 
Old 05-23-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Smoking is not a risk factor for pneumonia? That's the most bizarre thing I've heard this week. Definitely find a different doctor. Possibly your insurance company can help. (Especially if you start by saying, "I don't want to go to the ER again!")

 
Old 05-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Smoking doesnt cause pneumonia but it sure can exacerbate it - although, technically I suppose it could help it by making you cought up more phlegm! Not all doctors recommend the pneumonia vaccination. Do you have allergies that would contraindicate the vaccination for you?

 
Old 05-25-2010, 06:39 AM   #5
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

The CDC recomends everyone age 65 or older should be vaccinated. Younger people should also receive the vaccination if - they have a chronic illness such as heart or lung disease or diabetes or have a weak immune system - can be caused by certain kidney diseases, some cancers, HIV infections, organ transplant medicines. The pneumococcal vaccine is safe and for most people the vaccination lasts up to 10 years. Some experts say it may be best to get the vaccine before age 65 - anytime after 50 - since the younger you are, the better immune response. People should also get the vaccine even if they've had pneumonia before since there are many different kinds of pneumonia and having one kind does not protect against the others. The vaccine protects against 88 percent of the pneumococcal bacteria that cause pneumonia. There are two main kinds of pneumonia - viral and bacterial. Bacterial pneumonia is more serious. In older people, this type of pneumonia is a common cause of hospitalization and death.

Often seasonal flu clinics at schools and pharmacies offer the pneumonia vaccination as well which is where I received mine at age 52 along with my flu shot. Last year when I went for my flu shot at age 61, I received another pneumonia vaccination as a booster. So far, no flu and no pneumonia.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

This does seem odd to me since I hear all the time people getting enough drugs from doctors to kill themselves.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Thats how I see it. Thanks

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Not that I know of. I am allergic to sulphur.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:31 AM   #9
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Wow- your doc is a control freak. They give pneumonia vaccines out at the local pharmacy I go to. Flu and shingles shots as well. No doctor required. It's not like there is a shortage of vaccine or that there is more than a tiny risk with getting one. I can't imagine why a doctor would refuse to vaccinate someone.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:31 AM   #10
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Thank you for all the information. Wish I had a better doctor and was as well informed as you.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:33 AM   #11
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Gosh it's got me too. I think she should be reported but I don't know who to report her too. Sometimes I don't think it is worth it, but for sure she will dupe someone else and they will be in a mess too.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:59 AM   #12
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Quote:
Originally Posted by nonan47 View Post
Gosh it's got me too. I think she should be reported but I don't know who to report her too. Sometimes I don't think it is worth it, but for sure she will dupe someone else and they will be in a mess too.
You could try to report her, but honestly if she can provide a medical basis for her decision she'll probably win. I had a similar experience with my former doctor. I had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism and asked for the blood test to check. He refused. A blood test! A non-invasive, inexpensive test. I told him I'd pay cash for it, if he wasn't comfortable billing my insurance. He still refused. I had an appointment about a month later with my Gyno and due to some of my symptoms he suggested I get my thyroid tested. I didn't even ask. Well, tests came back that I was hypo and then my former doc was all on the phone with me telling me to come down and get put on thyroid hormone. Um, no. I switched doctors. If he didn't even have the good sense to test me when I asked and gave him all my symptoms, how can I trust him to treat me?

You might have a case with the fact that you asked for the pneumonia vaccine IF the pneumonia you contracted later was they type the vaccine is for. There is viral pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia. If you can prove (or at least convince a court) that you would not have gotten pneumonia if you'd had the shot, you might even be able to sue for damages because obviously a shot would have been way cheaper than your medical bills and lost wages.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 07:13 AM   #13
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Well, a flu or pneumonia shot will not totally keep you from getting the disease but can make the symptoms lesser if you do get it. So, you'd be hard pressed to prove that you wouldn't have gotten it with the vaccination.

 
Old 05-28-2010, 03:42 AM   #14
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Re: Pneumonia Vaccination

Really wish I knew why I got it at all. I saw a program on the dust bowl in the 30's and there was a common type of pneumonia from dust. I had been reworking my walls and it kicked up a lot of dust when I sanded. Finally I bought some dust masks to help, but maybe that is what I caught.

 
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