Peter Doshi is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. His report questions the motivations behind the intense push for what appears to be a failed strategy.
Read the full report from the British Medical Journal here.
"This is not to say influenza vaccines have no proven benefit. Many randomized controlled trials of influenza vaccines have been conducted in the healthy adult population, and a systematic review found that, depending on vaccine-virus strain match, vaccinating between 33 and 100 people resulted in one less case of influenza. No evidence exists, however, to show that this reduction in risk of symptomatic influenza for a specific population—here, among healthy adults—extrapolates into any reduced risk of serious complications from influenza such as hospitalizations or death in another population (complications largely occur among the frail, older population). This fact seems hard for many health commentators to grasp, who seem all too ready to take the largest statistic and apply it to all outcomes for all populations."