Child flu vaccination 'will save more lives'

DH plans to vaccinate children and teenagers aged under 18 against flu have received a boost after research showed it could save more lives than the current programme.

Childhood flu vaccination began in September
Childhood flu vaccination began in September

UK researchers found that vaccinating children aged five to 16 could prevent more deaths each winter than giving the jab to at-risk groups alone.

The findings, published in PLOS Medicine, support the DH's plan to roll out vaccination to all children aged two to 17 years over the coming years.

A team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and colleagues combined figures on GP consultations for flu-like illness with information on how viruses spread in the community and data on levels of immunity.

They calculated that 0.39 infections had been prevented and 1.74 lives had been saved for every 1,000 doses over the past 14 years. 

But their predictions found that expanding the programme to five to 16-year-olds could prevent 0.7 infections and save 1.95 lives per 1,000 doses.

Authors said: 'The most efficient way of reducing overall influenza-attributable morbidity and mortality appears to be to target the key spreaders - children. Even with modest coverage, substantial further reductions in morbidity and mortality could be achieved.'

The NHS began routinely vaccinating two and three-year-olds in September as part of a new childhood flu vaccination programme.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Houses of Parliament

GP partnerships 'like collapsing Jenga stack' after Javid threat to nationalise practices

Sajid Javid's decision to back a report calling for the end of the GMS contract within...

£20 notes spread out

VAT trap for PCNs could strip millions of pounds from general practice

Tens of millions of pounds could be stripped from general practice because work carried...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Is the BMA representing GPs effectively, why GPs face a pension tax hit, and views on the workload crisis

In our regular news review the team discusses representation of GPs, a new survey...

Man sleeping

NICE guidance on insomnia backs app to replace sleeping pills

Hundreds of thousands of people with insomnia could be offered treatment via a mobile...

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...