PHE reports on effectiveness of flu vaccine for the over 65 age group

04 June 2019

Article: 53/2202

The annual flu report published by Public Health England (PHE) reports that Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 was the main strain circulating during the 2018 - 2019 season, with Influenza A(H3N2) circulating later in the season. Although low-to-moderate levels of flu activity were seen in the community, the impact on secondary care in terms of hospitalisations and ICU admissions was high.  The report shows that the flu vaccine offered to those eligible for immunisation reduced the likelihood of visiting the GP with flu symptoms by approximately 44% during the season.

Flu is known to particularly affect older people as they tend to have weaker immune systems. The adjuvanted vaccine, which was given to the majority of adults aged 65 and over for the first time this season, was estimated to have provided approximately 60% protection against the flu strains circulating this winter.

Source: PHE, 30 May 2019