Athlete Roger Black, singer Amelia Lily and TV presenter Matt Johnson have teamed up with Sanofi Pasteur to encourage others with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and asthma to get the free flu jab.
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.
And 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, the Olympic Silver Medalist, explained why he takes the risk of catching flu seriously: “I was unlucky enough to have flu 10 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.
“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.”