The flu season is back along with annual vaccination campaigns. But controversy builds
as the British Medical Journal (BMJ) questions if flu vaccines are effective and whether patients are given enough information to make an informed choice. In the light of past history Susan McFie asks who can we trust?
You might assume that medical professionals would be first to get the shots; not so. 45% of NHS staff in England and 60% in Scotland remain unvaccinated. Yet GP practices receive payments of around £10.00 per shot administered. Could the push to vaccinate be associated with these target payments? A BMJ report last October revealed that some GPs were effectively threatening patients! One surgery even withheld repeat prescriptions from people declining vaccines. But in some cases payments are vital, compensating for lacking funds.
If doctors had fewer financial concerns and more time to research, what might they discover? In last month’s BMJ, editor Peter Doshi described how governments internationally have taken unsafe shortcuts getting flu vaccines marketed. He details how in Europe licenses were granted for products based on studies of entirely different vaccines containing different viruses. Other countries including the UK and the USA gave manufacturers indemnity from liability for vaccine injuries.
Source: Hastings Independent, October 19th, 2018.