The new TV commercial shows healthy older people asking myth-type questions, including, “Isn’t it like a bad cold or flu?” and, “Can I catch it from a pneumococcal vaccination?” A doctor—portrayed by an actor—responds to the inquisitors, telling them that it’s actually a potentially serious bacteria, and that vaccines do not contain live bacteria so no, you can’t catch it from the shot.
The "Know Pneumonia" website currently features a former patient testimonial campaign, but it's set to be updated with the new myth-dispelling work in January. Digital and social media are also planned, a Pfizer spokeswoman said via email. Along with the current TV ad, materials are being made available to healthcare providers in offices and pharmacies “to support conversations with patients about commons myths and facts about pneumococcal pneumonia,” she added.
The idea for these efforts came from market research "with patients across diverse populations who fall within the CDC guidelines, but indicated why they were hesitant about getting vaccinated,” according to the spokeswoman.
Pfizer’s pneumonia vaccine Prevnar 13 was the company’s top product last year and the world’s best-selling vaccine, with $5.7 billion in sales. But the vaccine has faced a recent slowdown, due in part to its early success.
"Know Pneumonia" is just one push the company's made lately to promote vaccination. This fall, Pfizer partnered with Patti LaBelle in an online video campaign called “All About Your Boom,” designed to raise awareness about the risk of pneumococcal pneumonia for older adults. Pfizer also works on another pneumonia awareness campaign “Who Pneu?” in conjunction with the American Lung Association.
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