Poor Evidence For Effectiveness Of Influenza Vaccines In Elderly

Evidence for the close custody and efficacy of influenza vaccines in the over 65s is poor, despite the deed that vaccination has been recommended taken in the character of antidote to the prevention of influenza in older men during the past 40 years. These are the conclusions of a commencing Cochrane Systematic Review.

Adults elderly 65 and over are some of the greatest in quantity capable of being wounded during influenza habituate and a anteriority with regard to vaccination programmes. However, very few systematic reviews of the effectiveness of vaccines in this group have ever been carried out.

The researchers conducted a thorough sift of studies based upon the body previous vaccine trials. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are often considered the “gold standard”, but of the 75 studies included in their review, the researchers were only able to be the same person newly come RCT with “real” outcomes. In other talk, this was the only RCT that used influenza cases for the reason that an outcome, during the time that opposed to lieutenant outcomes similar as measurements of influenza antibodies in the vital fluid. All the other studies included in the review were deemed of low status and open to bias.

Limited reliable make clear from the studies suggests that the effectiveness of influenza vaccines is modest at best. “Our estimates are consistently under those usually quoted by economists and in decision making,” says lead researcher Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration in Rome, Italy. “But until we consider all available evidence, it is hard to reach any innocent conclusions about the effectiveness of influenza vaccines in older people.”

“As the evidence is so scarce at the moment, we should be looking at other strategies to complement vaccinations. Some of these are extremely simple things liking personal hygienics, and adequate regimen and furnish with water,” says Jefferson. “Meanwhile, we need to undertake a high quality, publicly funded experience that runs over diverse seasons to try to resolve some of the uncertainties we’re generally facing.”

Jefferson is likewise one of the authors of a second criticise publishing this week, which focuses in succession the efficacy of influenza vaccinations in healthcare workers who work with the elderly. The results are also inconclusive, with each of the four trials included in the review being of disproportionate quality and reaching implausible conclusions. The researchers were incompetent to lead any conclusions concerning whether vaccinating healthcare workers helps to obviate influenza symptoms and death in canaille aged above 60.

Jennifer Beal

February 16 2010 03:45 pm | Immune System

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