Nearly One in Four New and Expectant Parents Have Never Heard of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease According to a New Survey

Pfizer and Parents Magazine Team Up to Educate Parents About a Serious Disease That Can Put a Child’s Life at Risk

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 05:00am

“As a longstanding, trusted resource, we aim to help parents navigate the often confusing, often scary aspects of health and safety news.”

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), in partnership with Parents magazine (NYSE:MDP), announced today the results of a national survey of more than 2,000 new and expectant parents assessing their knowledge of childhood infectious diseases, such as measles, whooping cough and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), and the measures parents can take to help prevent them.

Conducted online by Harris Poll, the survey found that parents were least knowledgeable about IPD, when compared among 11 childhood illnesses. In fact, only three of every 10 (30%) parents of children under two years of age and expectant parents report they are knowledgeable about IPD.1 Although IPD may be discussed in well-child visits, nearly one in four (23%) have never even heard of it, illustrating the need for more education.1,2

IPD is a serious disease that can include pneumococcal meningitis or a bloodstream infection (pneumococcal bacteremia).3 Even an ear infection can sometimes develop into IPD. 3

The bacteria that cause IPD can spread through the air with a cough, by direct contact with toys, or by direct contact with saliva or mucus.3,4,5 Many people, especially children, can have the bacteria in their nose or throat without becoming sick themselves.4 Among children, babies under two years old are at highest risk, and they can be infected almost anywhere they are.4,5

While many new and expectant parents recognize other serious diseases by name, the survey findings suggest that IPD remains a mystery.1 By comparison, more than twice as many are knowledgeable about pertussis (whooping cough) (69%), measles (68%), polio (64%), Hepatitis B (63%), and mumps (63%).1

“The first few years of parenthood are a series of learning experiences, but when it comes to infectious diseases, such as IPD, it’s best to be as prepared as possible,” said board-certified pediatrician Dr. Jen Trachtenberg, a nationally renowned parenting expert and contributor to Parents magazine. “It’s important parents stay informed, recognize common symptoms—such as fever, chills, headache, and irritability—and, most importantly, talk to their pediatrician about how to best keep their child safe.”3,5

Today, many of these potentially dangerous infections, like invasive pneumococcal disease, are still occurring in the U.S.5 Children under two years of age are at a higher risk for getting certain childhood diseases because their immune systems aren’t fully developed.5 Parents should consult their baby’s healthcare provider during regular well-child visits throughout the first years of life.6 Even when a baby’s health seems fine, regular check-ups during the first two years can help ensure a baby receives the recommended preventive care.6

“As a longstanding, trusted resource, we aim to help parents navigate the often confusing, often scary aspects of health and safety news,” said Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief of Parents. “While most parents surveyed (62%) report it is important to keep their babies current with vaccinations, many still have questions about the diseases they are vaccinating against. It is for that reason we are committed to ensuring parents have the tools they need so they can make well-informed decisions for their children.”1

There are resources online from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for parents to learn more about protecting their baby, including the CDC Recommended Immunization Schedule. Additionally, for information specific to IPD, please visit

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll, on behalf of Pfizer and Parents magazine, between June 16 and July 8, 2016. It included 2,216 U.S. adults ages 18+ who are either expectant mothers in their third trimester and/or parents (both mothers and fathers) of child(ren) two years old or younger. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income, household size, marital status, and employment status were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

Meredith Corporation

Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; has been committed to service journalism for more than 110 years. Today, Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including broadcast television, print, digital, mobile and video – to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.

Meredith's National Media Group reaches more than 100 million unduplicated women every month, including nearly 75 percent of U.S. Millennial women. Meredith is the leader in creating and distributing content across platforms in key consumer interest areas such as food, home, parenting and health through well-known brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Allrecipes, Parents and Shape. Meredith also features robust brand licensing activities, including more than 3,000 SKUs of branded products at 4,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing is an award-winning, strategic and creative agency that provides fully integrated marketing solutions for many of the world’s top brands, including Kraft, Lowe’s, TGI Friday’s and NBC Universal.

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Working together for a healthier world®

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at In addition, to learn more, please visit us on and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer_News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at

1 Pfizer/Parents – Pediatric IPD Survey. 16 June 2016 – 8 July 2016. Data on file.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2016 Recommended Immunizations for Children from Birth Through 6 Years Old. Updated January, 2016. Accessed on December 20, 2016.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pneumococcal disease symptoms and complications. Updated June 10, 2015. Accessed September 30, 2015.

4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pneumococcal disease. In: Hamborsky J, Kroger A, Wolfe C, eds. Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (The Pink Book). 13th ed. Washington DC: Public Health Foundation; 2015:279-296. Accessed December 20, 2016.

5 Offit PA, Quarles J, Gerber MA, Hackett CJ, Marcuse EK, Kollman TR, et al. Addressing parents’ concerns: do multiple vaccines overwhelm or weaken the immune system? Pediatrics. 2002;109(1):124–9.

6 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). AAP Schedule of Well-Child Care Visits.…. Published December 18, 2015. Accessed August 2, 2016.


Pfizer Inc.
Sally Beatty, 212-733-6566
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