“Act Now” is Pfizer’s new campaign for the prevention of type B meningitis, a serious and unpredictable disease, which can strike in a very short time and at all ages, with peaks in childhood and adolescence, and serious physical and psychological consequences, sometimes irreparable, up to death.
Heart of the countryside “Act now” is the video –https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC6o8ALSwRw – starring the actress Tess Masazza flanked by the unmistakable voice of Roberto Pedicini (voice actor, among others, of Kevin Spacey, Jim Carrey and Javier Bardem) in a succession of small situations that follow normal daily tasks, which often and willingly we tend to postpone: from washing dishes to ordering in the room, from shopping to going to the post office or bank. Throughout the video, the voiceover hangs over the protagonist, pressing her on, giving life to funny curtains that play on the concept of procrastinating tasks that may be boring to accomplish, but useful and necessary.
On one thing, however, the two agree: prevention of type B meningitis cannot be postponed, especially for the categories most at risk. Especially in teenagers, in fact, the early symptoms of the disease are underestimated and this leads to a delay in access to treatment with consequent worsening of physical and psychological repercussions. Numerous studies have shown, in fact, that after 15 years from the “recovery”, the sequelae affect the 50-60% of adolescents and cause long-term problems also very serious, such as: convulsions, hearing loss, scars, amputations, joint problems, vision problems, motor difficulties, kidney problems.
With a light tone, at times ironic, the video of “Act Now”, promoted on Youtube and the company’s social channels, plays in the initial part on situations in which everyone can recognize themselves and which seem far from the theme of prevention. Only at the end the voiceover becomes serious and institutional and, together with the protagonist, reveals the real intent of the communication: to guide us in the awareness and need to learn about the prevention of type B meningitis and its serious consequences, to protect the people around us, especially adolescents, among the categories most exposed to the risk of contracting the disease. In fact, in addition to leading a social lifestyle full of situations in which the meningococcal bacterium b spreads more easily – for example, frequenting crowded places or drinking from the same glass – at this age young people are frequently healthy carriers of the bacterium.
“The current health situation, consequent to the pandemic, which is and remains a priority, has however diverted attention from all other diseases, such as type B meningitis, which are serious and dangerous and can sometimes have irreparable consequences. – declares Valentina Marino, Pfizer Medical Director in Italy – It is essential not to underestimate prevention, the only defense weapon for this disease that can strike at all ages, especially in childhood and adolescence and, in a very short time, even just 24 hours, be lethal, or cause serious long-term repercussions, on a physical and psychological level. Protecting the health of those around us, especially the categories most at risk, becomes necessary and cannot be postponed. “
With the campaign “Act now”, Pfizer renews its invitation, especially to parents of adolescent children, to inquire with their family doctor or pediatrician and do not postpone prevention against type B meningitis.
About type B meningitis
Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges)
The bacterial form is caused by Neisseria meningitis (meningococcus), of which there are several serogroups. The most fearful and the most frequent in Italy is Meningococcus B which, in 2019, represented 51% of cases.
How it is transmitted
Type B meningitis is transmitted from person to person by the respiratory route, through saliva droplets and nasal secretions, which can be dispersed by coughing, sneezing or speaking.
The first symptoms can be very subtle and nonspecific: sleepiness, headache, lack of appetite. Generally, however, after 2-3 days, the symptoms worsen and may appear: nausea, vomiting, fever, paleness, sensitivity to light.
Bacterial meningitis can be fulminant and fatal within 24 hours. In fulminant forms, mortality exceeds 50%
Because teenagers are one of the most affected categories
Meningococcus B is transmitted more frequently by adolescents due to their lifestyle: having contacts at school, playing sports, giving each other kisses and hugs, drinking from the same bottles, etc.
For adolescents, whose brain is constantly evolving, the sequelae can be very serious and include physical and mental problems, memory and concentration difficulties and have a great impact on the quality of life.
Although not a very common disease, meningitis causes death in 10-14% of adolescents.