UK Flu vaccination programme
March 15, 2018
Re: Clarification of evidence presented to Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee meeting, Wednesday 7th March 2018, about the UK Flu vaccination programme.
Excerpts from a letter to Norman Lamb, Chair of UK Government’s Parliament Science and Technology Committee, Houses of Parliament
We independently reviewed the session on the Parliamentlive.tv and could not find evidence-based answers to a number of questions your Committee put to the panel. We think the Government, the public and health professionals require better informing.
We set out each of these questions in response to the committee’s questions (see appendix) and the expert panel’s responses.
- How many people die each year with a clinical diagnosis of influenza-like illness and with a positive test for influenza?
- How many people are admitted to hospital each year with a clinical diagnosis of influenza-like illness and with a positive test for influenza?
- What is the maximum contribution influenza vaccination in >60 could make in reducing annual mortality?
- What high quality evidence is there that adjuvanted vaccines reduce laboratory proven influenza, lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation and deaths in the elderly?
- What is the evidence that mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers reduces (laboratory proven) influenza, lower respiratory tract infection, hospitalisation and deaths in at-risk patient groups?
We believe answers based on facts and not models, projections, opinions or estimates should be presented to the Committee. We expect the same standard. If the panel cannot provide data for the current season, they should provide data for the previous seasons and update the series with the current period data when it is available.
We consider the government should seek to set out the answers to these five question to reduce uncertainty and better inform the vaccination program.
Carl Heneghan BM, BCh, MA, MRCGP DPhil (Oxon), Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine
Tom Jefferson, Associate Tutor, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford
A full copy of the letter can be found HERE