According to the American Lung Association, about five percent of Americans were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) last year. COPD is a term that’s used to describe different chronic respiratory diseases that can make it hard to breathe. Since the condition usually gets worse over time, it’s important to do everything you can to keep your lungs healthy.
5 Vaccines You Need When You Have COPD
1. The COVID-19 Vaccine
People have differing reactions to the COVID-19 virus. These reactions can be influenced by factors such as your current health status, the variant you’ve contracted, and if you’ve had the illness before. When you have COPD, even variants that don’t cause a severe reaction in others can result in you being hospitalized. Studies show that people with COPD and COVID-19 are more likely to be placed on a ventilator and have a 15 percent higher chance of dying from the virus. The vaccine can help to reduce these risks.
Currently, anyone over five years old can get the COVID-19 vaccine. You can also get the booster at set intervals after receiving the first complete dose.
2. The Flu Vaccine
It’s true that some people have the flu with no issues but that doesn’t mean the virus can’t have some serious complications. Some of the possible complications of the flu include bronchitis, sinusitis, swelling in the middle ear, and brain inflammation. These issues are even more likely for those who already have a chronic illness.
According to recent studies, people who have COPD are more likely to be hospitalized with the flu. They also have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications.
Anyone over the age of 6 months old can get the flu vaccine. Generally, you’ll get the vaccine annually but it’s best to confirm this with your doctor.
3. The Pneumococcal Vaccine
A pneumococcal disease is any illness that is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. These conditions can include ear, sinus, and blood infections as well as pneumonia. While all of these health problems can result in hospitalization, pneumonia is of particular note because it affects your lungs so significantly. People with COPD may have to be placed on a ventilator when they have pneumonia.
You can get the pneumococcal vaccine from the age of 19. The schedule for this vaccine can vary depending on which one you receive.
4. The Tdap Vaccine
This vaccine is used to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis. Pertussis, in particular, is of great concern for those with COPD because it causes a cough that makes it difficult to breathe. Though this condition used to affect children more often, more adults are being