Flu jabs for the elderly 'not working'

Vaccinating elderly patients against influenza does not reduce the number of hospital admissions for respiratory disease, UK research suggests.

Influenza vaccination is currently recommended for all elderly people aged 65 and over in the UK.

For this latest study, the researchers assessed the effect of routine influenza vaccine in preventing emergency respiratory admissions among a cohort of 3,970 people, aged 65-89, presenting with acute respiratory illness during the winter 2003-04.

Despite adjusting for age, sex, other chronic conditions and smoking status, the influenza vaccine was still found to have no effect on reducing hospital admissions for respiratory disease.

The researchers warn, however, that the findings do not negate the need for influenza vaccine.

Instead, the findings suggest that solely relying on the influenza vaccine is not an effective strategy for reducing annual winter bed pressures in hospitals.

Earlier this month US research published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that vaccinating the elderly against flu could almost halve the risk of death.

Influenza vaccination was found to reduce the risk of death by 48 per cent and cut the risk of hospitalisation for pneumonia or influenza by 27 per cent.


Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Child coughing

NICE traffic light tool that helps GPs spot seriously ill under-5s 'unreliable'

NICE's 'traffic light' system - intended to help GPs indentify risk of serious illness...

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

GMC sign

Overseas-graduate GPs fare worse in medical tribunals due to lack of legal help

UK GPs who graduated overseas face worse outcomes in GMC cases because they are far...

Woman using HRT patch

Practical advice for GPs on prescribing HRT

GP menopause specialists Dr Louise Newson and Dr Olivia Jones provides an overview...

NHS logo on tiled wall

PCNs falling short on 26,000 staff target and need more flexibility, GPs warn

Government plans to bring in 26,000 staff by 2024 to support general practice are...

Talking General Practice logo with picture of Dr Ed Cantelo and Dr Tommy Perkins

Podcast: How two GPs set up a business to advise doctors about finance

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Tommy Perkins and Dr Ed Cantelo from Medics...