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Sanofi Pasteur Launches Nationwide Education Campaign to Help Parents Make Informed Decisions about Immunization
Date:11/17/2011

SWIFTWATER, Pa., Nov. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today the introduction of a new education campaign designed to help answer parents' questions about immunization and to offer health-care professionals a reference tool to supplement their discussions about vaccination with patients.

The ImmYounity(SM) campaign provides consumer-friendly, accurate and science-based information about immunization that can be easily accessed at www.vaccines.com. The site contains useful facts and resources, including visuals that can be easily shared via social media and email, and is supplemented by educational brochures offered for use by health-care providers.

The Current Immunization Environment
While a majority of parents are committed to childhood vaccination, a rising tide of questions has emerged over the past 20 years regarding the benefit and safety of vaccines. Many parents have questions about vaccines and are looking for credible sources of information that respect their desire to come to a decision on their own terms. While parents continue to look to health-care professionals for information,(1) they also have more access than ever before to many other sources of information(2) that can be confusing, conflicting, and ultimately make it more difficult for parents to come to a well-informed decision about what is best for their children.

Immunization Roundtable Provides Input on Campaign
Leading up to the launch of ImmYounity, Sanofi Pasteur conducted a roundtable of thought leaders, including clinicians, public health leaders, and parents. The roundtable was conducted via Webcast with 22 experts. Following a short presentation on the current immunization environment and an initial view of the ImmYounity campaign, participants engaged in a dialogue to provide input into the approach, messages and creative and to share thoughts and identify key issues which ImmYounity might help to address.

"Now more than ever, parents are searching for factual, credible answers to their vaccine questions.  Especially with the rise of social media, parents can easily find themselves confused and faced with information overload," said Dr. Laura Jana, roundtable contributor, renowned pediatrician, award-winning author and Founder of Practical Parenting Consulting. "As a result, they may feel that their vaccine questions are being left unanswered.  The launching of a campaign like ImmYounity, dedicated to engaging parents, physicians, and others in a collaborative discussion about immunization, is likely to serve as a great resource."

Commenting on the need for additional tools to help the parent-physician dialogue, Dr. Flynn, Associate Dean for Research and Economic Development at The Commonwealth Medical College noted: "Parents now come armed with pieces of information that have provoked many more questions about their children's health than ever before and medical professionals must figure out how to discuss and, in some cases, compete with many other, often contradictory, sources. It's critical that we find ways to give physicians the tools they need so they can speak to evidence in consumer-friendly ways."

Ongoing Support for Collaborative Action
As parents are increasingly committing to becoming informed health-care consumers, vaccine advocates have been striving to develop programs that will ensure a more collaborative dialogue. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, professional organizations, vaccine advocacy groups, academic institutions and leading vaccine manufacturers alike have all recognized the importance of establishing a more effective infrastructure to engage the public, particularly moms who typically make the health-care decisions.

"From listening to parents' concerns about the current vaccine environment, we began to think about what else we could do to support them," said Phil Hosbach, vice president, Immunization Policy, Sanofi Pasteur.  "We concluded that it is critical to enhance our commitment to educate parents about the importance of vaccines."  

As part of the development of the ImmYounity campaign, several health-care providers also signed a pledge to highlight their collective efforts and goals for approaching the immunization dialogue.

About ImmYounity
ImmYounity was developed by Sanofi Pasteur, which has a long history of working with health-care professionals to educate parents about vaccination.

About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, rare diseases, consumer healthcare, emerging markets and animal health. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us

Contacts:

U.S. /Country Media Relations
Amy Ba
T. +1-570-957-0717
amy.ba@sanofipasteur.com
www.sanofipasteur.us

Reference
(1) PKIDS Communication Made Easy Webinar - 2009 CDC HealthStyles
(2) Baby Center. 21st Century Mom® Solutions. Mom Insights: Dr. Mom. http://www.babycentersolutions.com/ downloads/BCSol_21stCMom_DrMom.pdf.  Accessed March 25, 2011.


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