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a vaccination syringes image cbSeptember 6 2017

Provisional figures for vaccine effectiveness in the 2016-17 flu season have indicated a poor outcome for older people. 

 Data released by Public Health England showed an adjusted all age vaccine effectiveness (VE) of 39.8% against influenza-laboratory-confirmed primary care consultations for influenza. However, “effectiveness was 40.6% in 18-64 year olds, with no significant effectiveness in ≥65 year olds. VE was 57% for A(H3N2) for 2-17 year olds receiving quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine and 78.6% for influenza B.”

Results for the flu vaccine nasal spray indicate that it reduced the risk of vaccinated children getting flu by 65.8% in across the UK

PHE said: “The flu strain and the flu vaccine, recommended by the World Health Organization, changes every year and the flu vaccine generally provides an important level of protection.

“This year we did not find that the vaccine was significantly effective in protecting against influenza for the over-65 population. This highlights the importance of the vaccine programme in children, which is intended to indirectly protect other vulnerable members of the community, as well as the children themselves.”

The lower effectiveness in the older population for the 2016-17 season “highlights the need to continue to expand the programme among the young, as by protecting them, we can also protect those at risk of severe disease.

“The childhood flu vaccine programme is being expanded to include children in school year 4 in 2017 to 2018. Also, 4 year olds, who were previously offered flu vaccination in general practice, will now be offered it at school in reception class. So all children from reception class through to year 4 will be offered flu vaccination in the forthcoming season.”

Link:
PHE announcement       
PHE ‘Research and analysis: Influenza vaccine effectiveness: 2016 to 2017 estimates’          

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