Is this the end of the line for flu vaccine as we know it?
Could we be so lucky? Might we then begin to focus on boosting the immunity of all patients, especially those at greatest risk of detrimental outcomes from the flu? THe flu vaccine has always been a shot in the dark (evaluate this year’s strains, try to predict NEXT year’s strains, try to predict how they may mutate before next season, and turn this into a vaccine). The very, very disturbing part of this article is the fact that UK physicians are PAID to push flu vaccines on their elderly patients. This is abhorrable. Clinical decisions should be made on a case by case basis based on what will benefit the patient most. You want cost effectiveness in preventing the flu? Try educating the elderly population on how to stimulate immunity. Promote exercise. Preach the dangers of saturated fats, hydrogenated oils and processed sugars. Will we every learn?
bmj.com Higson and He 322 (7287): 677a