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The Department of Health recommends the national pneumococcal immunisation programme for people aged 65 or over and those in clinical risk groups (view the risk groups) because for those people, pneumococcal infections can be more serious. The NHS provides the vaccine for eligible patients. Your doctor or nurse will determine if you are eligible.
Pneumococcal infections are caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae which mostly lives harmlessly in the back of the nose and throat. However, sometimes the bacteria becomes invasive and causes serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, septicaemia (blood poisoning) and meningitis.
For more information and immunisation information check out the Pneumoaware website.