Riders set to save kids from deadly pneumococcal disease

Pfizer, Club PK team up for “PD Alliance in Motion”

Riders set to save kids from deadly pneumococcal disease

Leading pharmaceutical company Pfizer is partnering with a renowned team of motorcycle riders for a special mission—one that can save the lives of thousands of Filipino children.

The initiative, dubbed “PD Alliance in Motion”, will bring together doctors, vaccine experts and riders from the elite Club PK, as they embark on a road trip spanning far-flung areas in the country to vaccinate children against pneumococcal disease (PD), the leading vaccine-preventable cause of death worldwide.

Racing against time

“This project is of utmost importance, as we are racing against time to protect children against a very devastating disease,” said Pierre Niles, Senior Product Manager, Pfizer. “We must act quickly, as infants and children below the age of five are most vulnerable to pneumococcal disease, with one child dying from the disease every minute, and up to one million young lives lost every year.”

Pneumococcal disease describes a complex group of illnesses caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae or streptococcus bacterium, and includes deadly invasive diseases (invasive pneumococcal disease or IPD) such as pneumonia with bacteremia, sepsis and meningitis, and non-invasive illnesses such as pneumonia, acute otitis media, and sinusitis.

Vaccination more effective than treatment

According to Dr. Jaime Santos, one of the country’s leading pediatricians and chairman of the Infectious Diseases section of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, prevention through vaccination is the best course of action against PD, as the disease can be extremely difficult to treat.

“There are more than 90 strains or serotypes of streptococcus, with the 13 most common serotypes accounting for majority of cases. Many of these strains have become highly resistant to antibiotics. Thus, PD victims often have to endure aggressive and lengthy medical treatment, not to mention expensive medical bills,” said Santos.

Leading killer of Filipino children

The disease is a major health threat in the Philippines, with 90% of PD victims below five years old. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death among Filipino children under five, and the country ranks 10th in the world with the most number of childhood pneumonia cases.

“It is vital that more children are protected from the disease through broad-coverage vaccines. The ‘PD Alliance in Motion’ project is truly an important initiative, and I am optimistic that the Pfizer and Club PK team can reach as many children as possible,” Santos said.

Riding for a cause

The members of the Club PK are already gearing up for the trip, which is set to take them from North to South of the Philippines. “The Club PK members have gone on many road trips and adventures in the past, and this upcoming trip will certainly be our most important one yet,” said Jotle Viray, Club PK President.

“As motorcycle enthusiasts, we gladly go to the most remote destinations simply out of our love for riding. This time, we are travelling with a renewed purpose, and we are one with Pfizer in protecting as many kids as possible from pneumonia and other deadly pneumococcal diseases.”

Viray added that he had personal reasons for joining the campaign. “I know full well about the horrors of pneumococcal disease, as my young son became afflicted with pneumonia at an early age. Thankfully, he survived, but I know that many other children have not been as fortunate. That’s why I am supporting Pfizer’s campaign not just as a rider, but more importantly, as a parent.”

Broadest coverage vaccine

Through the “PD Alliance in Motion” initiative, over 1,300 children in the country are expected to receive the broadest coverage pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the world that protects against the 13 most common pneumococcal strains. Thousands more children are likewise poised to be protected from pneumococcal disease through herd immunity, a form of indirect protection wherein immunized children prevent the spread of disease to the unvaccinated.

For more information on the PD Alliance in Motion and how you can help, visit www.pfizer.com.ph. Please consult your doctor to know more about Pfizer’s pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and how it may save your child today.

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