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Mumbai: Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar, also a father of two, has been roped in as the cause ambassador of Sanofi Pasteur India's flu awareness campaign. The Rock On!! star will spread awareness about influenza prevention through vaccination.

The campaign is an educational initiative by Sanofi Pasteur India, the vaccines division of pharmaceutical company Sanofi and supports the cause to create awareness on seasonal influenza.

As an ambassador, Farhan will persuade parents to take flu seriously and protect their children through vaccination.

"As a parent, I was concerned for my children's welfare and hence, consulted their pediatrician. It was surprising to learn that flu is not a common cold, but a serious viral infection that's a high risk especially amongst children below the age of 5.

"It was reassuring to know that flu can be prevented and children can be protected against flu through timely vaccination. This was a revelation to me, and I am sure that there are others too who have misconceptions about the disease, inadvertently risking their children's lives.

"Hence, in my capacity as a public figure, I decided to support the initiative to spread the message on flu prevention," Farhan, who has two daughters Shakya and Akira, said in a statement.

As a part of the campaign, he along with city doctors will educate parents through multimedia channels such as radio, digital, print and in-clinic to take flu seriously and protect their children through timely vaccination.

"Influenza is a serious and contagious disease that often gets mistaken for common cold...According to the WHO, the principal way of reducing influenza burden is by vaccination. However, lack of awareness is a limiting factor in vaccine usage," said Jean-Pierre Baylet, country head, Sanofi Pasteur India.

"Sanofi Pasteur India is therefore embarking on an initiative to educate the masses and improve awareness on influenza and its prevention," added Baylet.

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