Pneumonia Vaccination Service
Around 220,000 people are diagnosed with pneumonia each year.* Our Pneumonia Vaccination Service can help offer protection
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection that can cause serious illness and even death. It affects around one in 100** adults in the UK each year and is most common in autumn and winter.
Pneumonia is caused by an infection that irritates the lungs, causing them to become inflamed and swell up with fluid. The most common cause of pneumonia is an infection due to bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus. It can be spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing.
The pneumonia vaccination at Boots
There are currently two different pneumonia vaccinations available in the UK. Boots offers a Pneumonia Vaccination Service that provides long-lasting protection against 13 of the most common strains of Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria:
- A single vaccination provides long-lasting protection against pneumococcal pneumonia
- The vaccination can be administered at any time of the year and can reduce risk for travellers going to countries which have higher levels of pneumococcal infections
- The vaccination can be given at the same time as other vaccinations, such as the flu vaccination
There's also a vaccination available on the NHS. This also helps protect against common strains of Streptococcus pneumonia. It's a different type of vaccination to the one used in the Boots service.
The Boots service doesn't replace the need for the free NHS vaccination and, if eligible, you might benefit from the additional protection offered by both. Ask your pharmacist for advice on this, if needed.
You may be eligible for the free NHS vaccination if, for example, you are:
- Aged 65 or over
- Aged under 65 with a long-term health condition such as diabetes***
Am I at risk?
Pneumonia is one of the most common causes of death due to infection in men and women. It can increase the risk of having a heart attack, as well as worsening existing heart failure. Pneumonia can affect anyone, but some people are more at risk of catching it. Risk factors include:
- Increasing age
- Smoking – not only is the risk of catching pneumonia greater, but it can be more serious in people who smoke
- Other health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease or respiratory diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- A weakened immune system
If you’re under 50 with no long-term conditions then the risk is quite low. But the risk increases from the age of 50, especially if you have a medical condition such as heart disease or diabetes. That’s why we’re offering this service to those aged 50 and over.
The Boots Pneumonia Vaccination Service is suitable for those aged 50 and over.**** The service is not suitable for:
- Anyone who's had a reaction to any previous injection or vaccination
- Anyone with a fever on the day of the appointment (your vaccination will need to be rescheduled)
- Anyone who has had a pneumonia vaccination in the last 12 months
Talk to the pharmacist before booking an appointment if you have a medical condition that affects your immune system, as the service may not be suitable for you.
How it works
Book an appointment
You can book online or in store to see a pharmacist at a selected Boots pharmacy
Consultation with a pharmacist
Our pharmacist will discuss the service with you, including any side effects and how the vaccination will be given
Receive your vaccination
If it’s right for you, our pharmacist will administer the vaccination and ask you to remain in the pharmacy for five minutes in case of any immediate side effects
What will the vaccination protect against?
The vaccination encourages your body to produce antibodies to help protect you from pneumococcal infection. This means you're less likely to become ill if you come into contact with the bacteria that cause pneumonia.
Prevenar 13 is the name of the pneumococcal vaccine that you’ll be given if eligible. Our pharmacist will vaccinate into the muscle of your upper arm so it may help if you wear a loose fitting top or short-sleeved top.
As with all medicines, there may be some side effects. Very common side effects include:
- Pain, tenderness, swelling or redness around the site of the injection
Other common side effects in people aged 50 or over include:
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle and joint aches
- Limitation of arm movement
Less common side effects include:
- Feeling sick
- Allergic reactions
- Swollen lymph glands near the injection site
In the rare event that an allergic reaction occurs at the time of the injection, our pharmacists are trained to deal with this. Speak to the pharmacist if you have any concerns about the vaccination or possible side effects.
Benefits of the service
- Flexible: Book with us at a time that suits you
- Expert advice: Get your questions answered face-to-face
- Collect points: Collect Boots Advantage Card points
How long will the in-store consultation take?
The Boots Pneumonia Vaccination Service costs £70 and only one vaccination is needed for long-term protection.
Looking for more information?
Our in-store pharmacy teams can help answer any questions you may have or you can learn more by reading our Pneumonia Vaccination Service leaflet.
Help protect yourself from flu too
If you want help to stay healthy over autumn and winter, you may also want to consider having the winter flu jab at Boots. Some Boots pharmacies can offer the vaccination at the same time as a pneumonia vaccination. Find out more about our Winter Flu Jab Services.
***Please visit nhs.uk/vaccinations for more information on long term illnesses eligible for the free NHS pneumonia vaccination
****Subject to eligibility criteria, specially trained pharmacist and stock availability, available in selected stores, charges apply