PCV13… the other Pneumonia shot..

Living On Oxygen for Life

Yesterday, I went to my Primary Care Physician to receive my shot called PCV13 (Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine). This shot is what I like to call the “other pneumonia shot.” Based on the website Vaccines.gov:

There are currently two types of pneumococcal vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).

There are more than 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria. PCV13 protects against 13 types and PPSV23 protects against 23 types. Both vaccines provide protection against illnesses like meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia (blood infection). PCV13 also provides protection against pneumonia (lung infection).

If you’ve already had a “Pneumonia shot”, most likely you’ve had the PPSV23 as it came on the market in 1983. It was called Pneumovax and made by Merck and now referred to as PPSV23. You can read all about what these vaccines are and when they were created at: Immunize.org. It’s all so confusing.. I know. Just give me the shot already! Sheesh!

But wait… for some reason, you have to be of a certain age or have a qualifying illness to obtain the PCV13. They are expensive and not all insurances will cover it. From what my doctor has told me… they are about $100 per shot and he has to order them in small amounts at a time. It’s not like ordering a batch of flu shots where the doctor knows they will be used up.

Technically, I do not qualify to receive this vaccine. Check the list at the Vaccines.gov website. However, my doctor felt so strongly that if I were to come down with Pneumonia… Well, let’s just say that better not happen *knock on wood*. Seriously, it’s a thought that I don’t even want to imagine because it would be very, very bad if not fatal for me. Sorry for the doom and gloom there.. My bad! Anyway.. ALL of my doctors agreed that I should get a PCV13 shot and so I went in on Friday because my doctor finally got it (it took about a month).

I was sitting there in the doctor’s waiting room when the nurse called my name and that’s when some sort of dinging started to go off. We both looked around asking what was that?? I knew that I heard that noise before. I said, “Could that be me??” and I lifted my purse up to my ear and sure enough it was my phone. K was trying to let me know that he’s been texting and calling me but I had my ringer turned down. Hey, I’m in the doctor’s office! It’s a rule to turn the ringer down. Sooo… I was explaining to my nurse as she whipped out the syringe that K and I have our phones linked and we use the “Find my Phone” app to know where each other is at anytime. It’s great because on that app you can play an alert tone so that you can either find your phone or get someone to answer their phone! The nurse and I were laughing and that’s when she stabbed me in the arm. I was NOT prepared for the shot to sting like it did. I was like, “Ouch that hurts!” She said, “Oh yeah, it will sting a little bit.” No kidding, right? But, I wasn’t going to be a baby about it. I’m tough…

By the time K met me at the mechanics to drop my van off, I was already starting to feel the vaccine move into my shoulder joint. The Flu Shot does the same thing. It makes my joints in my arm hurt for a day or so but for me that was child’s play compared to how I responded to the PCV13. I’m not saying that my reactions will happen to anyone else. I think it’s just that my body is not very strong and it wasn’t quite prepared for this. By the time I got home, about 30 minutes later, the joint pain spread to my left rib cage and it hurt to inhale deeply on the left side. That freaked me out a bit. K had to help me out of his car. We took a nap and I slept with a heating pad which helped me get a little sleep. When I woke up, K helped me sit up in bed because my arm just wasn’t getting the job done and my breathing wasn’t as good as it should be. The stress of dealing with the side effects of the vaccine was wearing me out. I knew I had to just get through a couple of days of feeling like crap, and then I’ll be right as rain.. right? And before I forget, I asked my nurse if I still had to get my flu shot in October and she said, “YES!” Ugh! Another stabbing! haha!

Today, I just feel really tired and slightly warm as if I have a tiny fever (it was only 98.9F). No big deal. My arm is doing better now. I can lift it up without too much aching. I think because I kept moving it around yesterday really helped make it feel better today. The heating pad helped too! Thank you K for the advice even though it was the last thing I wanted to do was to move around an arm that REALLY hurt.

Would I do it all over again, if I knew what I know now? Yes I would because I will protect my body from whatever illness I can. I love living and I love life. Most of all, I love K and I want to continue to be with him for as long as possible. I can hear you saying… “Awhh!” I know, I’m so goofy and that’s a good thing. If I can find humor in things while feeling not-so-good, life will be ok. Love to you all!! Hey check out my NEW Need a Hug Project blog. That’s where I will be updating all the packages of afghans that I ship out. FOLLOW it if you don’t already. Have a great day!


8 thoughts on “PCV13… the other Pneumonia shot..

  1. Thanks for sharing, I will look up the information on the PCV13 as you suggested.
    The flu shots and first pneumonia vaccine I have received really hurt for days too, but not as bad as yours. I hope you feel better very soon.

  2. I got the pneumonia shot last fall, and got a horrible case in February. (9 days in hospital, 2 in ICU and on a ventilator” needless to say I am terrified of getting anymore shots😢 just don’t think I could do that sick again..

    • Ohmygosh Bonnie!! That must have been horrible for you. What makes me nervous is being accidentally and unaware of being exposed to someone who is sick with the flu or pneumonia. I told K this evening that I don’t plan on getting this shot again in 5 years. He said… “Yes you are.” 😯

    • Janice, I truly don’t know for sure. This is something that you could talk to your doctor about. Maybe you could take along a printout of the picture that is in this post to help you with explaining exactly what vaccine you’re enquiring about.

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