Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in
Email:
Password:

Flu vaccine may not be effective in older patients

The vaccination of people over 65 against influenza may be ineffective and not reduce deaths, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal

The vaccination of people over 65 against influenza may be ineffective and not reduce deaths, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The study points out that although placebo-controlled randomised trials show the influenza vaccine is effective in younger adults, few trials have included elderly people, especially those aged at least 70 years, the age-group that accounts for three-quarters of all influenza-related deaths.

"The remaining evidence base is currently insufficient to indicate the magnitude of the mortality benefit, if any, that elderly people derive from the vaccination programme," said the study.

The evidence that is available suggests the positive clinical benefits of the vaccine declines as patients get older, especially after the age of 70.

Every year people over the age of 65 are vaccinated against influenza. But Dr Lone Simonsen and his colleagues from George Washington University, Washington DC, authors of the study, said recent mortality studies were unable to confirm a decline in influenza-related deaths since 1980, even though vaccination has increased from 15 per cent to 65 per cent.

The study also reveals that previous studies have claimed a 50 per cent reduction in the total risk of death in winter, whereas mortality studies have shown only around five per cent of winter deaths are as a result of influenza.

The researchers claim that several studies have shown selection bias and chose stronger, healthier patients to give a better impression of vaccine benefits.

26th September 2007

Share

Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts

PMHub

Add my company
BASTARD . LONDON

BASTARD . LONDON collaborates with you to amplify brand ideas into a visual brand language that resonates and engages with...

Latest intelligence

Empowered patients: shaking the foundations of healthcare
Precision medicine represents a new paradigm in healthcare.This new approach to treating and preventing disease views the patient holistically, analysing their genes, environment and lifestyle, and using this information to...
A uniquely English genomic medicine service
The UK National Health Service is developing one standardised approach to embedding precision medicine across the whole of England. Blue Latitude Health speaks to Dr Tom Fowler, Deputy Chief Scientist...
Blended Intelligence
Data is the most valued commodity of the modern world. For P&P it's all about the application....

Infographics