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As the chilly weather sets in, so too does the annual peak of viral respiratory infections. However, these illnesses are not limited to the winter season; some can circulate year-round. The impacts of such infections on people, families, and communities can be major. That's why Pfizer has launched Know, Plan, Go.

Viral respiratory infections are a significant public health concern. One of the primary goals of the "Know" pillar is to enhance awareness of the common risk factors and pre-existing conditions shared across various viral respiratory diseases that make people vulnerable to severe respiratory infections. These risk factors include being an older adult, having diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, or lung diseases, and having a weakened immune system. Knowledge empowers individuals to take proactive steps to protect themselves from serious complications.

Knowing is the first step, and it is important to recognise these risk factors. For instance, individuals who are older, have chronic lung diseases, or diabetes are at a higher risk of developing severe disease or complications from viral respiratory infections. It prompts the crucial question: "Did you know if you are at high risk?" Awareness of these risk factors is the first step towards protection.

While knowing whether you are at high risk is just the start; understanding the implications is equally as important. The campaign asks if people with these risk factors understand that they are at a higher risk of developing severe disease or complications from viral respiratory infections. This deeper understanding empowers individuals to take protective measures.

Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions are advised to consult their healthcare providers (HCPs) to understand how their conditions may increase the risk of developing severe viral respiratory infections. This collaborative approach ensures that individuals at high risk receive personalized guidance. While not everyone with a viral respiratory infection will develop severe disease or complications, the chances of this happening are greater if you have one or more of these risk factors. Understanding this can motivate individuals to take preventive actions.

Knowing also allows people to look out for others and extend their awareness beyond themselves. Do you know of anyone in your family or community who shares these risk factors? If so, do they know they are at high risk for severe disease or complications? This aspect of the campaign highlights the importance of community vigilance and support.

Pfizer’s Know Plan Go campaign reminds us of the significance of knowledge in the battle against viral respiratory infections. With awareness and understanding, people and communities can take the first steps to protect the vulnerable and ensure a healthier future. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and together, we can effectively fight viral respiratory infections. Know. Plan. Go.