Prevention of Pneumonia

  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines are available to prevent some types of pneumonia and the flu. Talk with your doctor about getting these shots. The vaccination guidelines have changed over time so make sure to review your vaccination status with your doctor even if you recall previously receiving a pneumonia vaccine.

  • Make sure children get vaccinated. Doctors recommend a different pneumonia vaccine for children younger than age 2 and for children ages 2 to 5 years who are at particular risk of pneumococcal disease. Children who attend a group child care center should also get the vaccine. Doctors also recommend flu shots for children older than 6 months.

  • Practice good hygiene. To protect yourself against respiratory infections that sometimes lead to pneumonia, wash your hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

  • Don't smoke. Smoking damages your lungs' natural defenses against respiratory infections.

  • Keep your immune system strong. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.

The  pneumonia vaccine is not 100% effective, so it's also important to take several measures to reduce the spread of infection, including:

  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue then throw it away right after use and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze and cough into your sleeve.

  • If you have a cold or the flu, stay home from work, school and public places

  • Regularly clean common areas of your home (e.g., door handles, light switches, hand rails, taps, remote controls, keyboards)

Page Last Updated: 13/01/2021