Persons with disabilities aged 50years old and above also availed of free pneumonia and flu vaccination duringthe activity dubbed “Bakunado si Lolo at Lola, Iwas Pulmonya” with vaccinesprovided by the Department of Health in Western Visayas.(With a report from PNA/PN) Dr. Jovy Vergara, assistant cityhealth officer, said pneumonia ranks second and third in terms of morbidity andmortality, respectively, among those 60 years old and above. In 2010 alone, 57,809 deaths due topneumonia were recorded – making it the top five leading causes of death in thecountry, reports said. Pneumonia causes inflammation of theair sacs in one or both lungs. It can be caused by a variety of organismsincluding bacteria, viruses and fungi. Symptoms may include breathingdifficulty, coughing, fever, and weakness. BACOLOD City – Around 1,000 seniorcitizens here received vaccination against pneumonia and flu as part of thecity government’s efforts to protect them from respiratory infections. Aside from weakened immune system,elderly patients with pneumonia are more prone to severe complications,hospitalization and death due to pre-existing health conditions and illnessessuch as diabetes, chronic lung disease and kidney or heart conditions, amongothers. The disease could be lethal orlife-threatening for senior citizens, Vergara added during the immunizationactivity at the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports Center on Thursday. In the Philippines, pneumoniaaccounted for over 57,000 deaths among Filipinos annually in the past decade,according to authorities. Vergara added most elderly patientsseek treatment only during the last stage of the disease. Vergara said pneumonia is avaccine-preventable disease, noting that the government is putting a premium onvarious programs like free vaccination especially among the elderly. “Among the elderly, especially thosewith chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia is more dangerous astheir immune system is weaker,” he said.