Patti LaBelle joins Pfizer pneumonia vaccine campaign

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NEW YORK — Iconic soul singer Patti LaBelle has partnered with Pfizer Inc. in a campaign urging seniors to get vaccinated for pneumococcal pneumonia.

Called “All About Your Boom,” the public awareness campaign aims to educate people age 65 and older about the risks of pneumococcal pneumonia and the need to stay up to date on immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pfizer said Tuesday. Pfizer markets the Prevnar 13 pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine, manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc.

LaBelle is one of the more than 46.2 million U.S. seniors who may be at a higher risk for pneumococcal pneumonia because as adults age their immune systems weaken, according to Pfizer. Yet many baby boomers may not believe they’re at risk for the disease because they lead energetic lifestyles and feel good, the company noted.

Staying healthy is key for LaBelle, who’s known as the Godmother of Soul and is still singing and doing shows after a career spanning more than 50 years.

“Like many my age, I have a pretty dynamic lifestyle and still feel young at heart. I continue to tour and enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. I don’t want anything to interfere with doing the things I love,” LaBelle said in a statement. “That’s why I talk to my doctor and ensure I am up to date with my vaccinations. It’s a simple step that can help protect me from certain illnesses that become a greater risk for boomers like me.”

The AllAboutYourBoom.com website provides resources on pneumococcal pneumonia — including information on the risks for older adults, questions to ask a physician and a link to the Prevnar 13 vaccine option for adults age 50 and older — as well as a video featuring LaBelle.

“Being involved in All About Your Boom has given me a new attitude about the steps I can take to maintain my health at this age, and I want to encourage others to do the same,” LaBelle added. “I’m committed to helping others live their lives to the fullest.”

A potentially serious lung infection that can be life-threatening, pneumococcal pneumonia can strike at any time. Seniors are at a 13 times greater risk of being hospitalized with with the disease versus adults younger than 50. Pneumococcal pneumonia can be spread by coughing, and symptoms can develop quickly and may include high fever, excessive sweating, shaking chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Certain symptoms, such as cough and fatigue, may last for weeks or longer.

Because of the increased risk, the CDC recommends that seniors receive the pneumococcal vaccine to help prevent pneumococcal disease.

“To stay healthy, adults 65 and older need to take essential steps like eating right, getting proper sleep and exercising. It’s also important to not lose sight of staying up-to-date on CDC-recommended adult vaccinations,” stated Luis Jodar, chief medical and scientific affairs officer for vaccines at Pfizer. “Pfizer Vaccines is committed to helping boomers prevent a serious vaccine-preventable disease, pneumococcal pneumonia, that can impact their life.”


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