The flu vaccination does not appear to have been effective in protecting against so-called Aussie flu, figures show.
Data from Public Health England (PHE) on influenza vaccine effectiveness across the UK found that only a small proportion of older people were protected.
One of the strains circulating in 2017/18 – H3N2 – was dubbed Aussie flu because prior to the flu season in the northern hemisphere it was circulating in the southern hemisphere, where Australia had a particularly bad flu season.
The PHE figures show that vaccine effectiveness against A(H3N2) was 16.4% for all age groups. It was 16.8% among the over-65s.
Every winter there are a few strains of flu circulating and the latest PHE data also assesses how effective the flu jab was across other strains of influenza – A(H1N1) and B.
Overall, the flu jab was found to be protective. Effectiveness was 15% against all three strains of flu.
It was highest among children. The vaccine was 26.9% effective in children aged two to 17 – who received the nasal spray – 12.2% in at-risk groups aged 18 to 64, and 10.1% in those aged 65 and over.
VAN UK’s Comment: 16.4% and 15% effectiveness for the two vaccines is NOT protective because the majority of the time, the vaccinees still got flu. The small percentage who didn’t may not have got flu anyway.
Source: World First, 19th July 2018.