Following warnings from NHS England that the UK could face a significant increase in flu cases this winter, Sanofi Pasteur has teamed up with six-time world champion athlete, Paula Radcliffe, to encourage greater take-up of the flu jab, particularly among groups at higher risk of serious complications from flu.
Radcliffe herself suffers from asthma and is aware that 'nobody is invincible'. “When you feel fit and healthy it is easy to think that you don’t need to worry about having a flu vaccination," she says. "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.
“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.”
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. 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.”