This website uses cookies. By continuing you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

National Immunization Awareness Month Highlights the Need for Vaccination

American Lung Association shares the importance of vaccinating against influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia, especially for those living with lung disease

(August 7, 2019) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]
312-801-7628

An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 adults in the United States die from vaccine-preventable infectious diseases or their complications each year.  During August’s National Immunization Awareness Month, the American Lung Association reminds adults of the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccination against potentially serious lung diseases such as influenza (the flu) and pneumococcal pneumonia.  

As a preventive healthcare measure, vaccines work by teaching the body's immune system to recognize and defend against harmful viruses or bacteria before getting an infection,  and reduce the chance of getting certain infectious diseases.  Most vaccine-preventable diseases are spread from person to person, which means that if one person in a community gets an infectious disease, they can spread it to others.  

Different than a bad cold, influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia are potentially serious infectious diseases that may be prevented by vaccines. 

Pneumococcal Pneumonia, the most common type of bacterial pneumonia,  is often spread through coughing.  The symptoms of pneumococcal pneumonia can come quickly and may include high fever, excessive sweating and shaking chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and chest pain.  

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious virus that is usually spread through coughing or sneezing.  Symptoms can impact the entire body and may include fever, headache, muscle aches, a dry cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion.13 

“Older adults and those with weakened immune systems or certain chronic health conditions—like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—are especially vulnerable to infectious disease,”  said Albert Rizzo, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association. “In fact, for adults 65 and older living with COPD, the risk for contracting pneumococcal pneumonia is 7.7 times higher than their healthy counterparts, and those with asthma are at 5.9 times greater risk.”  

The American Lung Association, in partnership with Pfizer, is urging adults to talk with their healthcare provider about pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations, with more information available at Lung.org/pneumococcal and Lung.org/influenza, or call the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA. 

###

About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

Red button with telephone
Ask An Expert

Questions about your lung health? Need help finding healthcare? Call 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Get help
Red button of two hand prints
We need your generous support

Make a difference by delivering research, education and advocacy to those impacted by lung disease.

Button of turquoise LUNG FORCE swirl
What is LUNG FORCE?

LUNG FORCE unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together in the fight against lung cancer.

Get involved
Join the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air.
Donate Now.