This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Efficacy of flu vaccine lessens

Written by: | Published:

A girl receives the Fluenz nasal vaccine A girl receives the Fluenz nasal vaccine

The overall efficacy of flu vaccinations in 2014 to 2015 fell to 34%, according to a new report published by Public Health England (PHE).

In people aged under 18 years, the vaccination was effective against 35% of cases of influenza A, while it was 100% effective against influenza B. In adults, the efficacy of the vaccine was 29.3% for influenza A, and 46.3% against influenza B. Estimates made in the middle of the flu season calculated the efficacy of the vaccine overall to be approximately 3%. However, due to a shift in the prevalence of certain strains of influenza circulating, the figure rose to 34%.

Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s director for health protection and medical director, said: ‘In recent years, we have typically seen around 50% (ranging from 25 to 70%) effectiveness for the flu vaccine in the UK, and there has generally been a good match between the strains of flu in the vaccine and those that subsequently circulate. However, last year we saw a slightly lower vaccine effectiveness than usual.’

Professor Cosford said: ‘While it is 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. These include older people, pregnant women and those with a health condition, even one that is well managed.’

In the 2014 to 2015 period all children aged two, three and four were given the Fluenz nasal vaccination against influenza. Older children in primary and secondary schools were given the vaccination in certain pilot areas. The vaccination programme against influenza in children began in 2013.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.