While everybody knows there’s a shortage of the flu vaccine, public health officials are recommending people 45 and older consider another type of shot to help them through the winter ahead. Karen Crimmings, a disease prevention specialist at the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health in Mason City, says Iowans should consider getting a pneumonia vaccine to help protect against pneumococcal disease since it can cause serious illness or even death. Crimmings says if you’ve been to the doctor lately, you may have already received the vaccine.Crimmings says pneumococcal disease is caused by bacteria that can infect the lungs, blood and the membrane that covers the brain. Crimmings says common symptoms of having pneumonia including chills, fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a severe cough.
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