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Over half (51.4%) of those in the under 65 clinical at-risk groups did not get vaccinated against the flu virus in 2016/20171, despite the fact they are more susceptible to complications from flu including hospitalisation and even death2

To help encourage more individuals to speak to their healthcare professional about flu vaccination, Sanofi Pasteur has teamed up with Paula Radcliffe, who despite being a world class athlete, falls into one of the pre-defined clinical at-risk groups because she has asthma


Maidenhead, United Kingdom – 10 October 2017 – Following warnings from NHS England that the UK could face a significant increase in flu cases this winter after a heavy flu season in Australia and New Zealand, it is important that people, particularly those in clinical at-risk groups2, think about protecting themselves against the virus this season. Just over half (51.4%) of those in at risk groups did not get vaccinated against the flu virus in 2016/20171, although vaccination is offered to them free of charge as part of the national immunisation programme.2 To help encourage people who are either more susceptible to getting flu, or more vulnerable if they do, to speak to their healthcare professional about flu vaccination, Sanofi Pasteur has teamed up with six-time world champion athlete, Paula Radcliffe - who people may be surprised to discover, is more susceptible to complications from flu because of her asthma.2

People with long-term conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and autoimmune conditions are more at risk of getting serious complications from flu including bronchitis, pneumonia and even death.2 Flu vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of serious complications from flu, and for people who live with or care for at-risk individuals.2

Paula, who has had asthma since she was a child, explains why nobody is invincible, even a world class athlete like herself: “When you feel fit and healthy it is easy to think that you don’t need to worry about having a flu vaccination. You think that if you are unlucky enough to contract flu, your body will be able to fight it off. However, even though I’m an athlete, and have my asthma under control, I know the consequences of flu could be serious.3

“I’ve had flu a number of times and it has developed into bronchitis, which I’ve been told is because of my asthma. In 1993, I actually missed the trials for the World Cross Country Championships because I was so ill, despite the fact I’d been eating healthily in an effort to boost my immunity! That taught me about the importance of being vaccinated against flu, so I’m teaming up with Sanofi Pasteur to help encourage people like me in at-risk groups to take the risks of flu seriously and get vaccinated this winter.”

Past studies have shown 28-59% of healthcare workers experience flu infections without classic symptoms.4Dr Radha Modgil, GP and media medic, comments, “According to the World Health Organization, the most effective way to help prevent flu and reduce the impact of an epidemic is vaccination. Well-tolerated and effective vaccines are available and have been used for more than 60 years.5Vaccination is important for front-line healthcare professionals to help reduce the risk of transmission of the virus to others, including family, friends, colleagues and patients.’’

Dr Ian Gray, Medical Head, Sanofi Pasteur UK & Ireland comments: “For several years the medical community has been concerned about the consistently low number of eligible people in at-risk groups taking up the NHS flu vaccination. In fact, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is developing guidance, due out in January 2018, about helping to increase the uptake of the free flu vaccination among people who are eligible.6 At Sanofi Pasteur we have been discovering, developing and delivering vaccines for over 100 years, and we are constantly innovating to meet public health needs.”


Notes to editors:

About influenza

Influenza or "flu" is an acute viral infection caused by influenza viruses, which spreads easily from person to person. Flu circulates all year round worldwide but mostly in the winter, which is why it's sometimes referred to as seasonal flu. Influenza is characterised by a sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose.5 The cough can be severe and can last two or more weeks. Most people recover from the fever and other symptoms within a week without requiring medical attention. However, influenza can cause severe illness or fatalities especially in those at high risk.5 The highest risk of complications occurs among pregnant women, children aged 6–59 months, the elderly, individuals with specific chronic medical conditions (such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, and heart or lung diseases), and healthcare workers.5

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimates, the influenza annual global attack rates are estimated at 5-10% in adults and 20–30% in children 7 Worldwide, annual influenza epidemics result in three to five million cases of severe illness, and 250,000 to 500,000 deaths.5 In the UK, fatalities attributable to flu are estimated to range from around 4,000 to 14,000 per year, with an average of around 8,000 fatalities per year.8

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi is organised into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General  Medicines  and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur  and Consumer Healthcare. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than one billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunise more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccines industry, Sanofi Pasteur produces a portfolio of vaccines that matches its areas of expertise and meets public-health demand. The company's heritage, to develop vaccines that protect help life, dates back more than a century.

Sanofi Pasteur is the world’s largest manufacturer of influenza vaccines. In 2016, Sanofi Pasteur confirmed its leadership by completing a production of 200 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine, i.e. approximately 40% of influenza vaccines distributed worldwide.

Sanofi Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives, intentions and expectations with respect to future financial results, events, operations, services, product development and potential, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words "expects", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "plans" and similar expressions. Although Sanofi's management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Sanofi, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, future clinical data and analysis, including post marketing, decisions by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA or the EMA, regarding whether and when to approve any drug, device or biological application that may be filed for any such product candidates as well as their decisions regarding labelling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of such product candidates, the absence of guarantee that the product candidates if approved will be commercially successful, the future approval and commercial success of therapeutic alternatives, Sanofi's ability to benefit from external growth opportunities and/or obtain regulatory clearances, risks associated with intellectual property and any related pending or future litigation and the ultimate outcome of such litigation, trends in exchange rates and prevailing interest rates, volatile economic conditions, the impact of cost containment initiatives and subsequent changes thereto, the average number of shares outstanding as well as those discussed or identified in the public filings with the SEC and the AMF made by Sanofi, including those listed under "Risk Factors" and "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in Sanofi's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2015. Other than as required by applicable law, Sanofi does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or statements.


1. Public Health England. Population vaccination coverage (Flu, at risk individuals). Available at: http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/health-protection/data#page/3/gid/1000002/pat/6/par/E12000004/ati/102/are/E06000015/iid/30315/age/226/sex/4 [Accessed 1 Sep.2017].

2. NHS Choices. Who should have the flu jab? Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/pages/who-should-have-flu-vaccine.aspx [Accessed 1 Sep. 2017].

3. Cdc.gov. (2017). Flu and People with Asthma | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/asthma/index.htm [Accessed 1 Sep. 2017].

4. Elder A et al. Incidence and recall of influenza in a cohort of Glasgow healthcare workers during the 1993/4 epidemic: results of serum testing and questionnaire. Br Med J 1996;313:1241-42.

5. WHO Influenza (seasonal) Factsheet: Revised November 2016. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/ [Accessed 1 Sep. 2017].

6. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Flu vaccination: increasing uptake. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-phg96 [Accessed 1 Sep. 2017].

7. Who.int. (2017). WHO | 23 November 2012, vol. 87, 47 (pp. 461–476). [online] Available at: http://www.who.int/wer/2012/wer8747/en/ [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

8. Public Health England. Public Health England and the NHS Prepare for Unpredictable Flu Season. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-england-and-the-nhs-prepare-for-unpredictable-flu-season [Accessed 1 Sep.2017].

Updated: October 12, 2017

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