Publisher Daniel Hines raps
findings of study as example of continued lack of concern for
elderly health needs...click here
Flu vaccines have modest effectiveness
in elderly people, study claims
Newswise Vaccines against inﬂuenza
are modestly effective for elderly people in long-term care
facilities, but for those in the community their effectiveness is
even less, according to a study published online today (Thursday
September 21, 2005) by The Lancet.
In 2000, 40 of the 51 developed
countries or rapidly developing countries recommended vaccination
for all individuals aged 6065 or older. Tom Jefferson (Cochrane
Vaccine Field, Rome, Italy) and colleagues identiﬁed and assessed 64
comparative studies of the effectiveness of inﬂuenza vaccines in
individuals aged 65 years or older.
Combining data from 15 studies,
they found that in elderly individuals living in the community,
inactivated inﬂuenza vaccines were not effective against inﬂuenza-like
illnesses, inﬂuenza, or pneumonia but prevented up to 30% of
hospitalisations for pneumonia.
Combining data from twenty-nine
studies, they found that in elderly individuals in long-term care
facilities, inactivated inﬂuenza vaccines prevented up to 42% of
deaths caused by inﬂuenza and pneumonia.
Dr Jefferson concludes: We need a
more comprehensive and perhaps more effective strategy in
controlling acute respiratory infections, relying on several
preventive interventions that take into account the multi-agent
nature of infectious respiratory disease and its context (such as
personal hygiene, provision of electricity and adequate food, water