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Content :

Con-flu-sed by this unlikely line up of famous faces?

Roger Black, Amelia Lily and Matt Johnson team up with Sanofi Pasteur to encourage others with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma to get free flu jab

  • Approximately 3.5 million UK under 65s who have underlying health conditions including asthma, diabetes and chronic heart disease did not get their free flu vaccination during the 2017/2018 winter season1
  • People with underlying chronic health conditions are eligible for free flu vaccination due to being at increased risk of serious complications from flu1,2
  • As people who are in ‘at-risk’ groups for flu, Roger Black, Amelia Lily and Matt Johnson are working with Sanofi Pasteur to encourage more people to get vaccinated against flu

MAIDENHEAD – October 08, 2018 – In the 2017/18 flu season, less than half (48.9%) of UK under 65s who were eligible to receive a free flu vaccination on the NHS due to an underlying health condition were vaccinated,1 despite being at increased risk of serious complications from flu including acute bronchitis and pneumonia.1,2

People with chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and chronic heart disease account for over three quarters of the under 65 ‘at-risk’ population for flu, which is why Sanofi Pasteur has teamed up with Roger Black, Amelia Lily and Matt Johnson – who each fall into one of these ‘at risk’ groups – to encourage more people with these conditions to get vaccinated against flu this winter.

Roger Black explains why he takes the risk of catching flu seriously

“I was unlucky enough to have flu ten years ago and I’ll never forget the physical flu symptoms. I was also worried because I have a chronic heart condition, which can make me more at risk of serious illness or complications from flu,”3 says Roger Black, ex-Olympic Silver Medalist. “I was on holiday in Cornwall at the time and being ill ruined the entire trip – I spent most of it in bed sweating and shivering – not ideal with my one-year-old twins running around! I didn’t have the flu vaccination that year because I thought that I was fit so I’d be fine. But I learnt my lesson - it’s just not worth taking the risk, and that’s the message Matt, Amelia and I want to get across.”

Further information on chronic heart disease and flu:

Under half (49.9%) of people with chronic heart disease got vaccinated against the flu virus in the 2017/18 flu season.1

People with chronic heart disease are at increased risk of developing complications from flu compared to those who do not have it, and getting flu may also increase their risk of having a heart attack.4,5

Amelia Lily, like others with diabetes, doesn’t want flu to her impact life

“I can’t let flu put my life on hold at any time, but especially not this year while I’m on tour,” says Amelia Lily, Singer. “I always have to keep on top of my diabetes, but if I got flu this could be even more challenging.That’s why flu vaccination is especially important for people with diabetes, like me. I hope with the help of Roger and Matt, we encourage others in ‘at risk’ groups to get the flu jab this winter.”

Further information on diabetes and flu:

Over a third (34.6%) of people with diabetes did not get vaccinated against the flu virus in the 2017/18 flu season.1

Diabetes can affect the immune system, making people with diabetes more susceptible to flu and more likely to develop serious complications than those who do not have diabetes.6

Having flu can affect the glucose control in people with diabetes, leading to hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia, which can have potentially serious consequences.

Matt Johnson urges other people with asthma to take flu seriously

“To be honest I wasn’t fully aware of how serious flu can be for people with asthma, even though I have it myself. Like Roger, I assumed that because I was otherwise fit and healthy, I’d be okay,” says Matt Johnson, TV Presenter. “Now I know what the consequences can be, I encourage other people with asthma to go and get vaccinated against flu this winter – it’s offered free of charge on the NHS to those who fall within an ‘at-risk’ group so it’s just a case of booking an appointment with your GP, nurse or pharmacist.”

Further information on asthma and flu:

Only half (50.8%) of people with respiratory conditions like asthma got vaccinated against flu in the 2017/18 flu season.1

People with asthma can be more susceptible to flu and are more likely to develop serious complications and be admitted into hospital if they get it, compared to those who do not have asthma.7

Flu infection can worsen asthma symptoms even if they are generally well-controlled by medication.7 Flu can exacerbate or worsen inflammation of the airways which can trigger asthma attacks.7 It can also lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory complications.7

Vaccination against flu

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most effective way to help prevent flu is vaccination.8

Flu vaccination can be offered at both GP surgeries and pharmacies between September and March and is free of charge on the NHS to those that fall within a recommended ‘at risk’ group.2

“This winter, Sanofi Pasteur is pleased to be working with Roger, Amelia and Matt to encourage others with underlying chronic health conditions to help protect themselves from flu through vaccination,” says Hugo Fry, Managing Director, Sanofi UK. “Annual flu vaccination is considered one of the most effective ways to prevent flu, and contributes significantly to public health.”

Flu fact or fiction?

People may choose not to be vaccinated against flu because they are confused about the facts:

  • Injectable flu vaccines can’t give you flu9
  • Flu is caused by viruses not bacteria, so antibiotics won’t work against flu9
  • The viruses that cause flu change every year, so you need a vaccination that matches the circulating viruses each winter9

About Sanofi

Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions.

With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.

Sanofi, Empowering Life

For more information please visit www.sanofi.co.uk

1. Public Health England. Seasonal influenza vaccine uptake in GP patients: winter season 2017 to 2018. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/710416/Seasonal_influenza_vaccine_uptake_in_GP_patients_winter_season_2017_to_2018.pdf. [Accessed September 2018].

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 September 2018].

3. Public Health England, Influenza: The Green Book. Chapter 19. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/663694/ Greenbook_chapter_19_Influenza_.pdf [Accessed September 2018].

4. Estabragh ZR, Mamas MA. The cardiovascular manifestations of influenza: a systematic review. Int J Cardiol. 2013; 167(6):2397-403

5. Barnes M, Heywood AE, Mahimbo A, et al. Acute myocardial infarction and influenza: a meta-analysis of case-control studies. Heart. 2015;101(21):1738-47

6. Diabetes UK. Flu Vaccine. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/seasonal-flu. [Accessed September 2018].

7. Cdc.gov. (2017). Flu and People with Asthma | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/asthma/index.htm [Accessed September 2018].

8. WHO Influenza (seasonal) Factsheet: Revised November 2016. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/. [Accessed September 2018].

9. Nhs.uk. (2018). 10 myths about flu and the flu vaccine - NHS.UK. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/10-myths-about-flu-and-the-flu-vaccine/ [Accessed September 2018].

Date of preparation: September 2018 - Job bag number: SAGB.IFLU.18.09.1388

Updated: November 07, 2018

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