Posted on 23/11/2012

Is the Flu Jab a Waste of Money?

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Are claims that the flu jab is a waste of money true?

Claims that the flu vaccine is a 'waste of money' have been widely reported across the country and with flu season approaching, these claims have featured in various newspaper reports, with the likes of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail declaring that 'flu jabs are a 'waste' of the taxpayer's money'.

Based on a report from researchers at the University of Minnesota, the headlines are of course exaggerated. Suggestions that the flu vaccine has a limited effectiveness in older people and that it is a 'waste' of money', are extremely misleading when they are taken out of context - especially in the headlines.

The report, which was compiled by researchers at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), looks at multiple aspects of the vaccine within the United States, including evidence of its effectiveness, development, research, production and policy surrounding those deemed eligible for the jab.

Although the vaccine is not 100% effective against the flu virus, vaccinations in the UK have been effective at preventing deaths among the most vulnerable. These over-exaggerated claims based on the reports finding may well put off vaccine manufacturers from developing new vaccines against different strains of flu in the future - a move that could be detrimental to many.

With multiple strains of flu circulating each year, efforts to combat flu epidemics include the use of the yearly vaccine. Developed to protect against three strains of the illness, it is a procedure that has saved many lives since its introduction to the UK.

The headlines from the UK papers were poor for the following reasons

  • They failed to acknowledge that the report was based on the situation in the US and not the UK
  • The claims in the report were taken as face value - with no critical analysis

With flu season upon us, hygiene is of the utmost importance. NRS Healthcare stock a range of infection prevention and control products to ensure surfaces as well as hands are hygienically clean. We also stock a range of mobility aids and disability equipment - designed to make life easier for those suffering from mobility issues. Feel free to browse our site to find out more, or contact a member of our friendly team.

 

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