For me, age has always just been a number. Yes I am getting older, but I continue to sing, tour, cook, and spend time with my family. In short, I’m booming and life is great!
However, now that I am over 65 I’ve learned that my attitude, while keeping me young at heart, is not enough to keep me doing the things I love. Even though I am taking an active role in my health, infectious diseases such as pneumococcal pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening lung infection, could take me out of my routine or even land me in the hospital.
That’s a risk I didn’t want to take, so I learned more about the steps I could take to help avoid getting a vaccine-preventable disease. And I want to share how I got my new attitude about pneumococcal pneumonia with my fellow Baby Boomers.
Knowing the Facts Is Key
Through conversations with my doctor, doing my own research and after partnering with Pfizer for the All About Your Boom™ campaign, I learned that it’s important for Boomers to stay up to date with vaccinations because as we get older our immune systems weaken. I discovered that there might be something that could stop Patti other than Patti – it’s called pneumococcal pneumonia. In fact, adults 65 and older are at a thirteen times greater risk of being hospitalized with pneumococcal pneumonia compared to adults younger than 50.1 And if you have diabetes like me, or certain other chronic conditions, you are at an increased risk.
I got vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia and later found out that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends all adults 65 and older should get vaccinated against diseases such as pneumococcal pneumonia. Like many people, I thought the schedules for vaccines were just for children. While I knew of the importance of the flu vaccine, pneumococcal vaccination was not on my radar. Therefore, I decided to learn a little more about it.
Because I am so active and health conscious, I didn’t feel I was at risk for such a disease. But I learned that even in healthy adults, pneumococcal pneumonia can strike anywhere, any time. I discovered that pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious bacterial lung disease and some of its physical effects can be felt for weeks, taking you out of your routine or in serious cases, requiring hospitalization.2 It can be spread by coughing or through close contact, and symptoms can develop quickly. But for adults 65 and older there is something they can do to help prevent getting pneumococcal pneumonia.
Don’t let Pneumococcal Pneumonia Take Your Boom
Talk to your healthcare provider and see if you are up to date on CDC-recommended vaccinations. Now that I am up-to-date on all my vaccinations, I’m making it a priority to help educate other Boomers about the risks of pneumococcal pneumonia and the importance of vaccination.
I’m working with Pfizer to support the All About Your Boom™ campaign. Our goal is to encourage millions of adults 65 and older in the U.S. to get a new attitude about pneumococcal pneumonia and talk to their doctor about vaccination in honor of World Pneumonia Day, which is on November 12th.
To find out more, go to AllAboutYourBoom.com.
About Patti LaBelle
GRAMMY®-winning entertainer, author and entrepreneur Patti LaBelle, aka the Godmother of Soul, is best known for countless hits including New Attitude, If You Only Knew, and Lady Marmalade. What’s even more impressive: after a career spanning more than 50 years, she’s still belting out songs and shows no signs of slowing down.
Staying healthy is crucial for Patti—and not just because of her career. It’s a big part of who she is and helps her do what she wants to do at this point in her life.
Pfizer and Patti LaBelle are working together on the All About your Boom™ campaign to educate adults 65 and older about the risks of pneumococcal pneumonia and importance of adult vaccination. To learn more about the work Pfizer is doing to continue to help protect people from life-threatening illness, go to http://www.pfizer.com/science/vaccines.
Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY.
2Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal Disease: Fast Facts. (2015). http://www.cdc.gov/pneumococcal/about/facts.html. Accessed September 28, 2017.