Program to Help Protect U.S. Seniors from Influenza Targets Disparities in Immunization

Leading Influenza Vaccine Manufacturer Partners with Major Health Equity Organization to Help Protect Seniors from Potentially Deadly Consequences of Flu

December 8, 2017 — According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only two in three seniors receive an influenza immunization each year, despite the heightened risk of hospitalization and death in this population. Among all U.S. adults (18 years and older), far less than half are immunized against flu, with people of color having the lowest rate of vaccination coverage within both the younger adult and senior populations. This is evident in the following 2016-17 statistics for adults 65 years of age and older that show: 59.4% and 61.2% of black and Hispanic seniors, respectively, received the influenza vaccine while that number reached 66.6% among white seniors.

Today, Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s largest manufacturer of seasonal influenza vaccines, and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) are teaming up to promote equity in influenza immunization. NMQF and its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Center for Sustainable Health Care Quality and Equity (SHC)—one of the nation’s leading advocates for health equity—are working alongside Sanofi Pasteur to increase persistently low influenza vaccination rates among people over 65 years of age, especially within the African American and Hispanic populations. The organizations share a commitment to promoting science-based population health and a dedication to health equity, including helping protect elderly citizens from influenza disease and its complications, including death.

The new partnership will probe claims and survey data to identify low vaccination rates within specific geographic regions and underserved populations. “Big data analysis provides enormous power for better understanding public health challenges; visualizing the data analytics on a map makes it possible for us to target education efficiently and effectively so as to improve outcomes,” Dr. Gary Puckrein, NMQF founder, CEO, and President explains.
Based on the data analytics, SHC will recruit clinicians and community leaders in pilot regions to provide training and support focusing on the importance of influenza vaccination and cost-effective strategies to promote increased rates in diverse populations.
Dr. Ayman Chit, Sanofi Pasteur Head of Health Economics and Epidemiology Research, adds, “Sanofi Pasteur is invested in real-world evidence and big data to extract insights and design interventions to improve immunization rates and reduce disparities.”
The collaboration will begin its efforts to reduce disparities in influenza immunization, given that an average of 226,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths are due to flu-related illnesses each year in the U.S. with approximately 90% of hospitalizations and deaths occurring among the elderly.
Sanofi Pasteur produces Fluzone ® High-Dose (Influenza Vaccine), the high-dose, trivalent, inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3-HD) with four times the hemagglutinin (HA) contained in standard-dose influenza vaccines. A large clinical study has shown that among individuals 65 years of age or older, the high-dose vaccine provides better protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza-like illness compared to its standard-dose influenza vaccine comparator. A health economic evaluation based on that clinical study showed reduced hospitalization costs.
Studies have shown that among individuals 65 years of age or older, the high-dose vaccine stimulates a significantly higher antibody response, provides better protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza-like illness and reduces hospitalizations and costs compared to its standard-dose influenza vaccine comparator.
Dr. Laura Lee Hall, SHC President, notes of the data collaboration, “Using evidence-based strategies, we will support clinical teams and community leaders in achieving important population health and equity goals, expanding protection from preventable disease among seniors and underserved patients.” Dr. Bernard Rosof, CEO of SHC, agrees, noting, “our approach aligns with health quality’s quadruple aim of better care, outcomes, costs, and clinician satisfaction.”
About NMQF
NMQF, founded by Gary A. Puckrein, Ph.D., President, and Chief Executive Officer, in 1998, addresses the critical need for strengthening national and local efforts to use evidence-based, data-driven initiatives to guide programs to eliminate disproportionate premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations. SHC, its wholly-owned subsidiary, is a pioneering health care improvement information company that continuously measures population health, providing actionable analysis to clinicians, health care systems, researchers, corporations, and policy-makers as well as patients, caregivers, and community leaders. Through its exclusive data access, SHC uniquely promotes cost-effective health outcomes for all through big data analytics coupled with impactful visualization and education. The data analytics are reported in multiple formats guiding innovative efforts to achieve the triple aim—better health care, improving the health of the population and communities, and affordable care.
Fluzone High-Dose vaccine should not be given to anyone with a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to any vaccine component, including eggs, egg products, or to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine.
Tell your doctor if you have ever experienced Guillain-Barré syndrome (severe muscle weakness) after a previous dose of influenza vaccine. If you notice any other problems or symptoms following vaccination, please contact your health care professional immediately.
The most common side effects to the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine include pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site; muscle aches, fatigue, and headache. Other side effects may occur. Vaccination with Fluzone High-Dose vaccine may not protect all individuals.
Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is given to people 65 years of age and older to help prevent influenza disease caused by influenza A and B strains contained in the vaccine.
For more information about Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, talk to your health care professional and see complete Patient Information.
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
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 produces a portfolio of high-quality vaccines that matches its areas of expertise and meets public-health demand. 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: or
For more information contact Dr. Laura Lee Hall at SHC: