Economic evaluations of seasonal influenza vaccination for the elderly

The Council of the European Union (EU) has recommended that action should be taken to increase influenza vaccination in the elderly population | BMJ Open

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Image source: Joe The Goat Farmer – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Objectives: The aims were to systematically review and critically appraise economic evaluations for influenza vaccination in the elderly population in the EU.

Results: Of the 326 search results, screening identified eight relevant studies. Results varied widely, with the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio ranging from being both more effective and cheaper than no intervention to costing €4 59 350 per life-year gained. Cost-effectiveness was most sensitive to variations in influenza strain, vaccination type and strategy, population and modelling characteristics.

Conclusions: Most studies suggest that vaccination is cost-effective (seven of eight studies identified at least one cost-effective scenario). All but one study used economic models to synthesise data from different sources. The results are uncertain due to the methods used and the relevance and robustness of the data used. Sensitivity analysis to explore these aspects was limited. Integrated, controlled prospective clinical and economic evaluations and surveillance data are needed to improve the evidence base. This would allow more advanced modelling techniques to characterise the epidemiology of influenza more accurately and improve the robustness of cost-effectiveness estimates.

Full reference: Shields. G.E. et al. (2017) Systematic review of economic evaluations of seasonal influenza vaccination for the elderly population in the European Union. BMJ Open. 7:e014847

 

Measles: Don’t let your child catch it

This poster highlights the current new campaign to encourage parents to get their child vaccinated | PHE

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Image source: PHE

This poster has been revised and updated as part of the measles elimination strategy. The number of young people catching measles is rising. To be protected they need to be immunised with the MMR vaccine. It’s never too late to be vaccinated. It’s time to make measles a disease of the past.

An A3 size downloadable poster is available here

Record numbers of NHS frontline staff have had flu jab this winter

Record numbers of NHS staff have had their flu jab this winter, official figures from Public Health England (PHE) show | OnMedica

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Some 594,700 (61.8%) frontline NHS staff across England were vaccinated against flu between 1 September and 31 December last year. That figure is expected to increase in January and February.

The highest level achieved by the end of February in previous winters was 541,757 (just under 55%) in 2014-15.

PHE does not have recorded numbers of deaths from flu. But it is estimated that, in 2015-16, there were about 2,300 excess deaths over the winter linked to the time of year. Flu and extreme cold weather are the two most likely causes.

Read the news story here

Practice Transformation Program Increases Adult Influenza Vaccination

Infection Control Today | Published online: 3 November 2016

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An evidence-based, step-by-step guide, the 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program, was the foundation of an intervention to increase adult immunizations in primary care and was tested in a randomized controlled cluster trial. The purpose of this study by Lin, et al. (2016) was to report changes in influenza immunization rates and on factors related to receipt of influenza vaccine.

Twenty-five primary care practices were recruited in 2013, stratified by city (Houston, Pittsburgh), location (rural, urban, suburban) and type (family medicine, internal medicine), and randomized to the intervention (n = 13) or control (n = 12) in Year 1 (2013-14). A follow-up intervention occurred in Year 2 (2014-15). Demographic and vaccination data were derived from de-identified electronic medical record extractions.

A cohort of 70,549 adults seen in their respective practices (n = 24 with 1 drop out) at least once each year was followed. Baseline mean age was 55.1 years, 35 % were men, 21 % were non-white and 35 % were Hispanic. After one year, both intervention and control arms significantly (P < 0.001) increased influenza vaccination, with average increases of 2.7 to 6.5 percentage points. In regression analyses, likelihood of influenza vaccination was significantly higher in sites with lower percentages of patients with missed opportunities (P < 0.001) and, after adjusting for missed opportunities, the intervention further improved vaccination rates in Houston (lower baseline rates) but not Pittsburgh (higher baseline rates). In the follow-up intervention, the likelihood of vaccination increased for both intervention sites and those that reduced missed opportunities (P < 0.005).

The researchers say that reducing missed opportunities across the practice increases likelihood of influenza vaccination of adults. The 4 Pillars™ Practice Transformation Program provides strategies for reducing missed opportunities to vaccinate adults.

Read the full overview here

Read the original article here

Tackling falling child vaccination rates

vaccination-1215279_960_720NICE is developing priorities to help ensure unvaccinated children across the country get the protection they need.  In some areas of the country, fewer than 1 in 5 children are vaccinated against diseases such as polio and diphtheria. Experts have warned that unless uptake rates improve there is a risk of these diseases making a comeback.

Last year only a quarter of local authorities met World Health Organization targets to vaccinate 95% of children against measles, mumps and rubella.  A draft quality standard from NICE, out for consultation until 29 September, sets out how to drive up the number of under 19s who receive vaccinations.

Which flu vaccine should children have?

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Image source: futureatlas.com – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Two types of flu vaccine are available for children in 2016 to 2017: the ‘live’ nasal spray vaccine and the inactivated injected flu vaccine. An updated flu vaccine chart for children in 2016 to 2017  indicates which vaccine children should get and who is eligible.

 

JCVI statement on the nasal spray flu vaccine

Department of Health | First published: 26 August 2016

Using the nasal spray flu vaccine for the UK childhood influenza immunisation programme: advice from JCVI

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Image source: gov.uk

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has reviewed updated data from the 2015 to 2016 season in the UK and other countries on the effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine, in light of emerging evidence of low effectiveness of the nasal spray vaccine reported in the United States (US).

This statement sets out the committee’s advice for continuation of the childhood influenza immunisation programme in using the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV, the nasal spray vaccine).

Read the full statement here