Home
|
About
|
A-Z
|
Contact
|
Follow
Vaccine Information You Need
Home
|
Adult Vaccines
|
Personal Testimonies
|
Friend
GRT
Adult Vaccines: Personal Testimonies

Pneumococcal Pneumonia: How I Let Down My Friend

By Linda K. Ohri, PharmD
I have a close friend who is 86 years young, and a dynamic testament on how to grow older gracefully. She has been a foster grandparent to my children since they were infants and feels like a second mother to me.
I am very active as an educator and advocate for optimal immunization across the lifespan. I believe that immunization represents one of the most beneficial and cost-effective strategies we have to prevent disease and promote health in people of all ages.
Unfortunately, a few years ago, I discovered that I wasn't practicing what I preached in my personal relationships. It wasn't until my friend developed pneumococcal pneumonia in about November that I realized I had never asked her if she had been immunized or talked to her about the benefits and safety of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23). She's tough and didn't require hospitalization for her illness. However, she essentially lost 3 months where she was pretty much confined to home, and struggled to recover her previously robust health. She and I were lucky --- she did recover and was ready to play golf when spring weather arrived. As for me, I learned a lesson that immunization advocacy should begin at home.
She has received her pneumococcal vaccination, and I've gotten better at bringing up issues of optimal immunization with all of my family and friends. I would rather be kidded as a "vaccine nag" than again suffer the guilt of not having recommended a vaccine that could have been life saving for someone I care about.
Linda K. Ohri, PharmD, associate professor of Pharmacy Practice at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, writes about her elderly friend's illness with pneumococcal pneumonia, which served as a powerful reminder to Dr. Ohri that talking about the importance of immunization is both a professional and personal responsibility.
Published 7/16/07
GRT
GRT
Adult Vaccines
Adult Home
Vaccines You Need
Resources
Personal Testimonies
>> Adrian Elkins - hepatitis B
>> Christine Baze - HPV
>> Cousin - hepatitis B
>> FDA Magazine - shingles
>> Friend - pneumococcal
>> Joe Moakley - hepatitis B
>> Hsu Family - hepatitis B
>> Mark - hepatitis B
>> Mother - tetanus
>> Mother - hepatitis B
>> Mother - hepatitis B
>> National Cervical Cancer Coalition - HPV
>> Ramona & June - whooping cough
>> Thomas - hepatitis B
>> Tom - hepatitis A
>> Wise Family - hepatitis B
>> Yorkshire Post - tetanus
View All Personal Testimonies
Videos
Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
Learn about Pneumococcal
Watch Pneumococcal Videos
>> view all VPDs
 
This page was reviewed on January 26, 2013
Immunization Action Coalition  •  2550 University Avenue West  •  Suite 415 North  •  Saint Paul, Minnesota  •  55114
tel 651-647-9009  •  fax 651-647-9131
 
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), a non-profit organization, works to increase immunization rates and prevent disease by creating and distributing educational materials for health professionals and the public that enhance the delivery of safe and effective immunization services. IAC also facilitates communication about the safety, efficacy, and use of vaccines within the broad immunization community of patients, parents, healthcare organizations, and government health agencies.