RxPG News Feed for RxPG News

Medical Research Health Special Topics World
 Asian Health
 Food & Nutrition
 Men's Health
 Mental Health
 Occupational Health
 Public Health
 Sleep Hygiene
 Women's Health
 Canada Healthcare
 China Healthcare
 India Healthcare
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 World Healthcare
   Latest Research
 Alternative Medicine
 Clinical Trials
 Infectious Diseases
  Prion Diseases
  Small Pox
 Sports Medicine
   Medical News
 Awards & Prizes
   Special Topics
 Odd Medical News

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 - 10:22:56 PM
Influenza Channel

subscribe to Influenza newsletter
Latest Research : Infectious Diseases : Influenza

   EMAIL   |   PRINT
Are influenza vaccines worth the effort?

Oct 27, 2006 - 4:57:00 PM , Reviewed by: Rashmi Yadav
"The problem is that the UK has no transparent process for evaluating the effectiveness or cost effectiveness of vaccines."

[RxPG] Each year enormous effort goes into producing influenza vaccines and delivering them to appropriate sections of the population. But a review of the evidence in this week's BMJ suggests that they may not be as effective as we think.

So is this effort justified, asks vaccine expert Tom Jefferson?

Public policy worldwide recommends the use of inactivated influenza vaccines (vaccines that contain dead viruses) to prevent seasonal outbreaks.

But because influenza viruses mutate (change) and the number doing the rounds varies from year to year, it's difficult for scientists to study the precise effects of vaccines. The most reliable way to judge their effects is to use systematic reviews – impartial summaries of evidence from many different studies.

Evidence from systematic reviews in this field shows that inactivated influenza vaccines have little or no effect on many influenza campaign objectives, such as hospital stay, time off work, or death from influenza and its complications.

Furthermore, most studies are of poor quality (especially in the elderly) and show evidence of bias. And there is surprisingly little evidence on the safety of these vaccines.

The large gap between policy and what the data tell us is surprising, writes Jefferson. Reasons for this are not clear, but may stem from the confusion between influenza and influenza-like illness (the acute respiratory infection which looks like influenza but is not), a lack of accurate and fast surveillance systems, and the fact that vaccines are available.

The optimistic and confident tone of some predictions of viral circulation and of the impact of inactivated vaccines, which are at odds with the evidence, is striking, he says. But given the huge resources involved, a re-evaluation should be urgently undertaken.

"The problem is that the UK has no transparent process for evaluating the effectiveness or cost effectiveness of vaccines," adds BMJ Editor, Fiona Godlee. "NICE would like to take this on. The government should let it."

Publication: BMJ
On the web: http://www.bmj.com/ 

Advertise in this space for $10 per month. Contact us today.

Related Influenza News
Genetic studies to explain the difference in susceptibility to the flu
Influenza predisposes to secondary bacterial infections
Closing schools for short periods does not decrease infection rates
Clinical trials of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines
Analysis of a critical protein produced by the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus
Flu shot rates lag for adolescents at risk
Immune to avian flu?
Novel H3N1 Swine Influenza Virus Identified in Pigs in Korea
Are influenza vaccines worth the effort?
Oseltamivir significantly reduces the risk of death from influenza

Subscribe to Influenza Newsletter

Enter your email address:

For any corrections of factual information, to contact the editors or to send any medical news or health news press releases, use feedback form

Top of Page

Contact us

RxPG Online



    Full Text RSS

© All rights reserved by RxPG Medical Solutions Private Limited (India)