Health risks from pneumonia are potentially more dangerous than those related to the flu, but large segments of the population aren't being vaccinated against it — even those at highest risk of contracting the disease. They include infants, the elderly and those with chronic respiratory problems like asthma.
Streptococcus pneumoniae (“pneumococcus”) is the bacterium responsible for almost a million cases and more than 50,000 deaths from pneumonia every year — twice as many as the number of flu deaths annually. That's an average of 125 deaths per day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 400,000 hospitalizations from pneumococcal pneumonia occur annually.
The good news is pneumococcal pneumonia can be prevented. We have inexpensive, safe, effective and readily available vaccines.
This editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was written by AAFA's President and CEO, Dr. Cary Sennett, and Dr. Todd Green, a member of our Medical Scientific Council, about the importance of pneumococcal pneumonia vaccinations if you have asthma.