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Pneumonia vaccine available through health department

WOODSTOCK – People aged 19 to 64 who smoke, have asthma or a chronic illness are considered high risk for pneumonia and its complications.

The McHenry County Department of Health recommends that these people get the pneumonia vaccine before the holidays; others include those 65 and older who have never had the vaccine.

The health department has a limited supply; appointments are required at 815-334-4931.

The cost is $60. Cash, check, credit card, Medicaid and Medicare Part B are accepted.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages. Signs of pneumonia can include coughing, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing or shortness of breath, chills or chest pain.

Certain people are more likely to become ill with pneumonia, such as adults 65 years of age or older and children younger than 5, as well as those with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or HIV/AIDS, smokers or asthmatics.

The vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women and people with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Adults should consult with a physician before receiving the pneumonia vaccine.

For information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/Features/Pneumonia.

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