Effectiveness of flu vaccines revealed – just 34% effective in young adults

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In a new report the Public Health England (PHE) has revealed some startling number about the effectiveness of the 2014 to 2015 flu vaccine.

While the effectiveness of the vaccine against influenza B was 100 per cent, the effectiveness of vaccine against influenza A was just 35 per cent suggesting that only the child flu vaccine (fluenz), which was administered to children in last year’s flu season against influenza B, provided the required protection.

Fluenz, a nasal spray flu vaccination, was given to all children aged 2, 3 and 4 along with primary and secondary school aged children in select pilot areas across the UK.

As far as the 2014 to 2015 adult flu vaccine is concerned, it was only 34 per cent effective against the circulating strains of flu. Estimates on the lower end of the spectrum peg the effectiveness at just 3 per cent mid season; however, PHE suggests that there was a shift in the dominant circulating strains throughout the rest of the flu season. The final results of the effectiveness of the adult flu vaccine against influenza A stood at 29.3 per cent while that against influenza B was 46.3 per cent.

“Whilst it’s not possible to fully predict the strains that will circulate in any given season, flu vaccination remains the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus which can cause severe illness and deaths each year among at-risk group”, said Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s Director for Health Protection and Medical Director.