'Not Today, Flu': Sanofi enlists Seinfeld star Jason Alexander to boost flu vaccinations this fall
“Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander takes a turn as a guardian angel in a new Sanofi campaign to encourage flu vaccinations.
Known for his funny, offbeat George Costanza character, Alexander takes on a sweeter though still humorous role protecting his charge from “life’s little disasters.” As he catches falling pigeon poop in his hat, swaps expired milk and fends off insects, he compares his guardian angel role to flu immunization.
“Protection like this doesn’t have to be supernatural. Because just like me, a flu shot can help prevent nasty complications from the flu — like pneumonia, heart attack and stroke,” he says in the online video.
The Sanofi awareness campaign called “Not Today, Flu” in partnership with the American Nurses Association is aimed at increasing flu vaccinations in what is expected to be a difficult and potentially longer flu season.
The 2021 fall influenza season was muted by self-imposed social distancing because of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a late resurgence through June, along with a big uptick in 2022 flu cases in the southern half of the world, has officials concerned about the just-beginning season north of the Equator.
“We need to ensure that there’s a good public health response out there to get patients and individuals immunized — and put the focus back on getting flu shots on an annual basis in doing our part to prevent a potentially bad influenza season coming up,” said Ken Paulino, Sanofi’s head of the adult vaccines business in the US.
The CDC is recommending flu vaccinations this year for everyone six months and older during September and October, similar to its previous guidance. However, it added a specific recommendation this year for people ages 65 and older to receive one of the three Fluzone, Flublok or Fluad higher-dose or adjuvanted vaccines. Sanofi makes both Fluzone and Flublok.
The “Not Today, Flu” digital campaign includes a dedicated website with resources such as a local flu vaccine locator, along with media interviews by Alexander and social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok with the campaign TikTok handle@nottodayflu.
Spanish-language versions of the campaign are also running along with a bilingual media tour and partnerships with Spanish-speaking influencers to address “ongoing flu disparities in racial and ethnic minority communities,” Sanofi said.