(BPT) - Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana has been vocal about the importance of getting vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia - a potentially serious bacterial lung disease that can disrupt your life for weeks and, in severe cases, put you in the hospital and even be life-threatening.
He thinks about it like how he would prepare for games, so here are his top tips for protecting your own health:
1. Preparation is key - on or off the field.
Like anyone else 65 or older, Joe is at increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia - but he knows that getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to help defend his health. And helping protect himself against pneumococcal pneumonia is a lot like preparing for a big game.
For his gameday preparation, he always reviewed the playbook and watched game film so he could handle whatever was thrown at him. Now, he stays prepared by prioritizing his health - which is why he got vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia.
2. Understanding the opponent
Joe also knows the importance of learning about pneumococcal pneumonia and who could be affected. It's not just people 65 or older who are at increased risk. If you are 19 or older and have an underlying medical condition like asthma, diabetes, chronic heart disease or COPD, you may be at increased risk, too.
3. Preparing your teammates
Communication is vital to any successful team, and getting the word out about pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination is no different. Even if you're not at increased risk yourself, you may have someone in your life who is - so make sure they know about the vaccination recommendation to help them protect their own health.
4. Taking action
Pneumococcal pneumonia can strike at any time of year - and vaccination is available year-round, too. There's no need to wait to get vaccinated, so you can start looking into it today.
5. Getting expert advice
Just as Joe would work with his coaches to make sure he knew the best plays to run during games, Joe's last tip on helping to protect your health is asking a doctor or pharmacist about pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination. Even if you've already had a previous pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine, your healthcare provider may recommend additional protection.
You can also learn more about your own risk at knowpneumonia.com. Like Joe says: preparation is key, no matter if you're getting ready for the big game or preparing to protect your health.