Nov 13, 2019


Vaccination is of utmost importance... Did you know vaccination protects children, senior citizens and also adults from serious illnesses and complications of vaccine-preventable diseases which can include paralysis of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death...

So with that in mind, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Sdn. Bhd. (GSK Malaysia) launched its Vaccinate for Life campaign in Malaysia in the hope of raising awareness and educate the public on the importance of vaccinations and vaccine preventable diseases - cause sadly, because of some rumours or old wives tales, some people actually fear letting their children or themselves be vaccinated and protected...

They actually need not worry because, GSK a science-led global company with a purpose is backed by a long standing legacy in Malaysia for the past 60 years...

Anyway the Vaccinate for Life campaign aims to highlight the importance of vaccination throughout life....

Launched in conjunction with World Pneumonia Day underlining pneumonia as one the most common vaccine preventable diseases, the campaign demonstrates how vaccines in action can help protect the lives of children aged five and below...

Pneumonia, a lung infection, can be caused by different bacteria, viruses and even fungi. 

Pneumococcal disease, in either invasive or non-invasive forms, is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria (pneumococcus). Pneumococcus can cause various types of infections, some of which can be life-threatening.

One of the most common causes of severe pneumonia is pneumococcus bacteria.
Pneumococcus bacteria can also cause ear and sinus infections (non-invasive) besides just pneumonia...

‘Invasive’ pneumococcal bacteria can invade the bloodstream causing bloodstream infection (bacteremia) and meningitis (infection of the tissues and fluids covering the brain and spinal cord)...

Pneumonia is today one of the leading causes of deaths in children, accounting for 18% of all deaths of children under five worldwide. 

Children under five years old are particularly susceptible to the disease especially those with compromised immune systems which may be weakened by malnutrition or undernourishment, especially in infants who are not exclusively breast-fed in spite of it being preventable and treatable in many cases.

In Malaysia, pneumonia is listed as one of the top five causes of death according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia., Pneumonia was the principal cause of death for the population aged 0 to 14 years in 2018 at 4.8 per cent....

The incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) according to a 4-year study (2014 – 2017) was estimated at 3.8 per 100 000 cases each year in Malaysia in children aged five years and below.

While pneumococcal disease is a very serious illness, invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) is deadly as it is an invasive bacteria infection in children. Children under two years of age fall into the highest general risk group for IPD.

The good news is there are vaccines to prevent pneumococcal disease in children and adults...
Do you know with the introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV) in many countries worldwide, infant deaths from pneumonia has been greatly reduced... . 

Globally, while an estimated 71.3 million infants have received PCV, at the end of 2018, there were 55 million infants who still had no access to PCV.
“Next to clean drinking water, vaccination is the most powerful public health policy in preventing infectious diseases. We at GSK, believe that every child deserves access to vaccination. Through vaccination it has been demonstrated that diseases such as small pox can be eradicated. With improving healthcare policies and access we will continue to see the elimination of mortality and morbidity due to infectious diseases,” said Dr. Ashwini Saha, Vaccine Medical Director, GSK Malaysia.

GSK’s Vaccinate for Life campaign, launched in conjunction with World Pneumonia Day on 12 November, was attended by Dato’ Dr. Musa Mohd Nordin, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Dr. Yong Junina Fadzil, Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Cardiologist, Dr. Lien Pham, General Manager, GSK Malaysia and Mr. David Lin, Communications & Government Affairs Director, GSK Malaysia.

With a 60 year footprint in healthcare in Malaysia, GSK remains committed to their patient focus values reiterated by Vaccinate for Life with a two-fold objective :

To provide information on vaccine preventable diseases to the public to support them to make informed decisions on their healthcare.
To highlight the importance of vaccinating throughout one’s life.

“We truly support the Ministry of Health’s call for children to be vaccinated against pneumococcal disease. We certainly welcome the much-awaited news on the inclusion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) into the National Immunisation Programme (NIP),” said Mr. David Lin.
“GSK’s Vaccinate for Life campaign extends beyond just a call for vaccination against pneumonia and IPD. Vaccination doesn’t stop at childhood as it helps give children a healthy start in life. It is not something you outgrow as vaccination is needed throughout one’s life to protect against preventable diseases and to prevent diseases from spreading in the community, ” explained Mr. David Lin.

As one of the leading manufacturers of vaccines, GSK has 41 vaccines globally to help protect people at every stage of life, from childhood right through to adolescence, pregnancy and beyond for example vaccines that protect against pneumococcal and HPV. In Malaysia, GSK’s wide range of vaccines encompasses 12 vaccines indicated for children, eight for adolescents and another eight for adults and the healthy ageing population.

Emphasising the importance of vaccination, Dato’ Dr. Musa shared, “As we age, our immune system does too. This makes us vulnerable to life-threatening diseases. By strengthening our immune system with vaccination through scheduled administration of vaccines, we can certainly protect ourselves and those closest to us and eventually help save lives. The vaccinations we receive as children can certainly protect us from life-threatening or debilitating diseases and lays the foundation for a stronger immunity later in life.”

Dr. Yong Junina Fadzil added, “There is a huge misconception about vaccinations and its implications on a child’s health. On-going education, collaborations with healthcare professionals as well as affirmative action by policymakers can change people’s mindsets. The Government’s move to include the pneumococcal vaccine into the NIP is indeed laudable and it exemplifies the importance of getting children vaccinated against this infectious disease. Just like regular exercise and a healthy diet, diligently keeping to a scheduled vaccination programme is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ensuring the health of our children will ensure the health of our nation.”

So what are you waiting for.. Do not hesitate.. Consult your healthcare professional on vaccination against pneumonia and pneumococal disease today, and protect your loved ones...


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