Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Influenza vaccines: Poor evidence for effectiveness in elderly

Date:
February 17, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Evidence for the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccines in the over-65s is poor, despite the fact that vaccination has been recommended for the prevention of influenza in older people for the past 40 years, according to a new review.

Evidence for the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccines in the over 65s is poor, despite the fact that vaccination has been recommended for the prevention of influenza in older people for the past 40 years. These are the conclusions of a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

Adults aged 65 and over are some of the most vulnerable during influenza season and a priority for 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 search of studies based on 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 identify one recent RCT with "real" outcomes. In other words, this was the only RCT that used influenza cases as an outcome, as opposed to surrogate outcomes such as measurements of influenza antibodies in the blood. All the other studies included in the review were deemed of low quality and open to bias.

Limited reliable evidence from the studies suggests that the effectiveness of influenza vaccines is modest at best. "Our estimates are consistently below those usually quoted by economists and in decision making," says lead researcher Tom Jefferson of the Cochrane Collaboration in Rome, Italy. "But until we have all available evidence, it is hard to reach any clear 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 very simple things like personal hygiene, and adequate food and water," says Jefferson. "Meanwhile, we need to undertake a high quality, publicly funded trial that runs over several seasons to try to resolve some of the uncertainties we're currently facing."

Jefferson is also one of the authors of a second review publishing this week, which focuses on 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 inadequate quality and reaching implausible conclusions. The researchers were unable to draw any conclusions about whether vaccinating healthcare workers helps to prevent influenza symptoms and death in people aged over 60.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Influenza vaccines: Poor evidence for effectiveness in elderly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216203146.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, February 17). Influenza vaccines: Poor evidence for effectiveness in elderly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216203146.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Influenza vaccines: Poor evidence for effectiveness in elderly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100216203146.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins