Pneumonia Vaccine

Since I had a nasty case of pneumonia earlier this year, I asked my PCP for a pneumonia vaccine when I get my flu shot next week. He said I don't meet the qualifications of being 65 ot older (I'll be 64 this December) and I don't have a disease that puts me at risk.   If I want to self pay, it's $130.00.  

My immune system has been so crappy since chemo and even though I'm in remission I still seem to get whatever bug comes along and seriously I cannot afford to get sick with pneumonia again.  

 

Has anyone else run into this problem? 

Comments

  • ShadyGuy
    ShadyGuy Member Posts: 783 Member
    Yes ...

    but that was a few years ago. I suggest you try a pharmacy. CVS for example will administer flu, pneumonia and shingles. never had any questions there. Its worth a try. Also I am quite sure you can get free flu shots through your local health department. You might also just find a different doctor.

  • Evarista
    Evarista Member Posts: 332 Member
    I'd push them on it

    I had it previously but this is what I read:  "The Prevnar 13® and Pneumovax® 23 pneumonia vaccines protect against pneumococcal disease. These vaccinations may be recommended for young children, adults 65 years or older, 19-64 year olds who smoke or have asthma, and other at-risk patients. Ask your nurse practitioner or physician assistant which is right for you."

    I think we qualify as "at risk".  Good luck with it.

  • PeprmntPat55
    PeprmntPat55 Member Posts: 66 Member
    Evarista said:

    I'd push them on it

    I had it previously but this is what I read:  "The Prevnar 13® and Pneumovax® 23 pneumonia vaccines protect against pneumococcal disease. These vaccinations may be recommended for young children, adults 65 years or older, 19-64 year olds who smoke or have asthma, and other at-risk patients. Ask your nurse practitioner or physician assistant which is right for you."

    I think we qualify as "at risk".  Good luck with it.

    Me too

    and that's what I said to the nurse when she called me back. But I guess I have to have a conversation with my Dr. about it and hope that if I can get it in December it's not too late. Thanks for your response!

     

  • Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3
    Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3 Member Posts: 3,737 Member
    edited October 2019 #5

    Me too

    and that's what I said to the nurse when she called me back. But I guess I have to have a conversation with my Dr. about it and hope that if I can get it in December it's not too late. Thanks for your response!

     

    Vaccine

    My oncologist required me to get a pneumonia vaccine shortly after I finished chemo; I was about 54 at the time.   I also must get periodic boosters.  In fact, I just checked  MyChart, and there is a reminder that I am OVERDUE for a second dose of the PPSV23, so I am glad I saw this discussion.  It said I am listed as "Highest Risk."   I also just read the 2015 CDC data sheet regarding PP VIS, and it said that although for healthy individuals one dose for life is regarded as adequate, other groups, depending on heath or becoming over age 65 are recommended additional dosing.

    All of my charts are marked "Autoimmune Compromised," and it would seem that such would qualify for the vaccine regardless of age.  I also have lung fibrosis and non-allergic asthma.   It is possible that policies and restrictions vary by state, but I am not certain if that is the case.

  • ShadyGuy
    ShadyGuy Member Posts: 783 Member
    I’m not ...

    sure about the pneumonia vaccine cost but a flu shot without insurance is $30 at CVS. like Max my onc insists that I have current vaccines for flu and pneumonia because of lymphoma. Perhaps you should call your insurance carrier directly? In any case please get the shots. Even with all 3 pneumonia vaccines I was still hospitalized with pneumonia twice in just over a year. I nearly died. Be very insistent on this issue. it is very important.

  • yesyes2
    yesyes2 Member Posts: 591
    Little if any protection...

    Because I have had a huge amount of Rituxian, #60 next Friday, and chemos twice, BC and NHL, I am also considered immunocompromised.  I have had the Prevnard 13 three times over the past 10 years and still my titers show no protection.  I do not do flu shots any more as I get the same results, not protected.  This is the side effect of long term chemo drug use.  But other than sinus conditions I remain relatively healthy.  Havn't had upper respitory infections in 20 years.  Hope that remains. 

    I believe when I had my first Prevnard 13 I was 60 years old.  Perhaps they changed the age limits. 

  • ShadyGuy
    ShadyGuy Member Posts: 783 Member
    edited October 2019 #8
    yesyes2 said:

    Little if any protection...

    Because I have had a huge amount of Rituxian, #60 next Friday, and chemos twice, BC and NHL, I am also considered immunocompromised.  I have had the Prevnard 13 three times over the past 10 years and still my titers show no protection.  I do not do flu shots any more as I get the same results, not protected.  This is the side effect of long term chemo drug use.  But other than sinus conditions I remain relatively healthy.  Havn't had upper respitory infections in 20 years.  Hope that remains. 

    I believe when I had my first Prevnard 13 I was 60 years old.  Perhaps they changed the age limits. 

    rituxan

    I have had 40+ Rituxan infusions. It definitely hammers your immunity. I stopped it and my chronic infections healed. 

  • Rocquie
    Rocquie Member Posts: 859 Member
    Vaccines

    After I completed my R-CHOP, my hematology oncologist wanted me to have a flu shot but NOT a pneumonia vaccine until I completed my Rituxan maintenance, indeed for two years afterwards. I just had my first pneumonia vaccine last year. They told me at CVS I would need a booster this year but then I should be set. 

    About 6 weeks ago, my husband and I both contracted a cold from our granddaughter. My husband was completely over his in about 10 days. I am still coughing and wheezing. Under pressure from my husband and my mother, I finally went to my pulmanologist yesterday. He diagnosed me with post viral bronchitis and said it could take up to 3 to 4 monthes to clear up.  Yes, I will say my immune system has taken a hit.

    Best,

    Rocquie

     

  • po18guy
    po18guy Member Posts: 1,299 Member
    I would pay $130

    If I had to - and if it would have some effect. I have persistent viral infections and the lower left lobe seems to be a pneumonia magnet. Received the flu shot - although it may do me no good. Almost three years after Ofatumumab, I remain B-Cell depleted. And, with the Ruxolitinib toning the T-Cells down, I might not develop any antibodies. I am certainly good at playing host to the "bodies" however. 

  • Almost70now
    Almost70now Member Posts: 37 Member
    Vaccines...

    My doctor has me get the pneumonia shot every 5 years. I've had it 3 times now. I get the flu shot every year and haven't had the flu in over 25 years. My problem is with bronchial infections. I have to be very careful to not be around anyone with a cold. If I catch it, it always seems to turn into a bronchial infection and have had to be hospitilized twice...last March I was in the hospital for 4 days and on home oxygen for 2 weeks. I run in the opposite direction when someone coughs or is sneezing. I get both shots at Walgreens and there is no charge. I don't get both at the same time because it really knocks me down for about 48 hours when I do. I get the flu shot one week and go back a couple weeks later for the other. I know many people my age that don't get a flu shot, and every year they get the flu. Makes no sense to me. My moto is "better safe , than sorry". Just got my flu shot last Friday and they were running out of the stronger dose for senior citizens. Glad I went when I did, because as I waited for mine they ran out and said it would be a week or so before they had more in stock. If you are 60 and over you need the senior citizen dose, not the regular shot.

  • lindary
    lindary Member Posts: 711 Member
    edited October 2019 #12
    flu shots

    Never had a flu shot until I was diagnosed with cancer. My oncolgist had me get it right away, before chemo started. (which was about 3 weeks later). I get it every year now, just in case. As far as I know I have never had the flu but at this point, I ain't taking any chances. I got the pneumoina shot a couple of years ago. 

     

  • Evarista
    Evarista Member Posts: 332 Member

    Me too

    and that's what I said to the nurse when she called me back. But I guess I have to have a conversation with my Dr. about it and hope that if I can get it in December it's not too late. Thanks for your response!

     

    Ask your oncologist?

    Your PCP may be trying to prevent an unwelcome financial situation for you:  just because he orders it, doesn't mean your insurance will pay for it.  Backwards thinking, IMO, because you-with-pneumonia would be way more expensive than the $130 for the vaccine (our CVS in Texas is $125).  But if your oncologist is OK with you getting it, his/her ordering & justifying it to the insurance people might work better.  You should be able to find out if it's covered before you get the vaccine.  As Shady has pointed out, it will likely be less at like CVS than in clinic.