Southeastern Idaho Public Health

What is Pneumococcal Disease or Pneumonia?

Listen to the Prevent Pneumonia Podcast. CDC’s Matthew Westercamp explains what pneumonia is, its symptoms, and how to prevent it.

Why is the pneumococcal vaccine important?

  • Pneumococcal disease is a potentially deadly infection that can come on very quickly.
  • Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against this infection.
  • Health officials updated pneumococcal vaccine recommendations in 2013 and 2014, so even people who have been vaccinated before are urged to check with their healthcare professional to see if they need an additional vaccination to stay protected.

Who Should Get Pneumococcal Vaccines?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all adults 65 years or older. Adults 18 and older with certain chronic conditions should also get pneumococcal vaccines. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about what is best for your specific situation.

How do I pay for my pneumococcal vaccine?

There are several ways to cover the cost of pneumococcal vaccines:

Medicare Part B covers 100% of the cost for both pneumococcal vaccines (when administered at least 12 months apart).

Idaho’s Medicaid agency will cover at least some adult immunizations, but may not offer all vaccines that are needed. Check with Idaho's Medicaid agency for more information.

If you serve in the military or are a military dependent, you are eligible for TRICARE. TRICARE vaccines are covered according to the CDC recommended schedule.

Private Health Insurance
Most private health insurance plans cover pneumococcal vaccines. Check with your insurance provider for details on whether there is any cost to you and for a list of in-network vaccine providers.

No Insurance?
If you do not currently have health insurance, visit to learn more about Idaho’s affordable health coverage options.
You can also go to a federally funded health center or public health district office to find affordable vaccines near you.

What vaccines do I need?

Vaccines are recommended for adults based on age, health conditions, job, travel, and other factors. Take the quiz!

Where can I find my vaccine?

Go to

Can I get the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time?

Yes. Influenza and one pneumococcal vaccine can be given at the same time, but in different arms. In fact, pneumococcal disease can be a complication of influenza, so getting both vaccines is a smart choice. If you need a second pneumococcal vaccine, your healthcare professional will tell you when to come back for it.

Pneumonia Awareness Additional Resources