Pfizer’s goal is to ensure that children in areas without medical facilities are protected from PD. The new formulation could drastically reduce child mortality due to its extended protection. This effort would hopefully achieve herd-immunity in communities.
To achieve this vision, Pfizer needed to convince Filipinos to immunize their children with its upgraded vaccines. Parents were reluctant to subject their children to vaccination because of their unfamiliarity with the new formulation and its effects. To gain their confidence, the pharmaceutical company needed the government, particularly the LGUs and its local health workers, on its side.
The LGUs health workers held a crucial role in the community. They knew each family and they knew the best way to communicate the importance and safety of the vaccine. These health workers have prescribed treatments for their various illnesses for years, if not decades. Because of their work, the community placed high trust in them and would follow their lead.
The Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands and Pfizer needed to cover much ground. Pfizer’s partner PR agency, M2.0 Communications, reasoned that the trucks and vehicles often used for medical missions were too wide and large to fit in rural Philippines’ narrow dirt roads. To cover more places in the shortest possible time, Pfizer needed swift and agile transportation–like motorcycles.
To build widespread support for pneumonia vaccination, M2.0’s strategic PR campaign created a broad alliance composed of doctors, vaccine experts, riders, and public servants. With their help, the group could deliver the vaccines, convince the community to accept the initiative, and administer them. The organization was dubbed PD Alliance in Motion.
The Alliance recruited Club PK to deliver the vaccines and bear the banner of the campaign. The motorcycle group that recently set the record of covering the 12-province, 1,200-kilometer loop of Northern Luzon in just 17 hours. Club PK President Jotle Viray eagerly pledged his organization’s help. In his words, “I know fully well about the horrors of pneumococcal disease, as my young son became afflicted with pneumonia at an early age. Thankfully, he survived, but I know that many other children have not been as fortunate.”
The local government and its health workers were there to pave the way for the Alliance. Their position enabled them to mobilize the community for the campaign. As an added bonus, mayors and legislators have the capability to convince their peers to implement PD vaccination in their towns or lobby for it in Congress and the Senate.
The Alliance planned a route to maximize the number of children it saves by visiting PD hotspots all around the country. To ensure major Filipino regions were represented, the team targeted locations in the south, such as Dalaguete, Cebu, the municipality with the most cases in the province. The campaign timed the deliveries to lead up to World Pneumonia Day, November 12, to ensure maximum awareness of PD immunization when the date came.
M2.0 pitched stories of the Alliance’s vaccination drive to national and regional media as part of their strategic planning. The stories revolved around the Alliance’s mission against the child-killer pneumonia, the disease’s dangers, and the urgency of vaccinating them with the updated formulation. They highlight the contributions of PD Alliance members, like Pfizer, Club PK, the doctors, and government officials, and the benefits of the campaign on Filipino children.