Intended for healthcare professionals


Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 09 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1020

No gap between policy and evidence

  1. David S Fedson, retired physician1,
  2. Kristin L Nichol, professor of medicine2
  1. 101630 Sergy Haut, France
  2. 2University of Minnesota

Jefferson believes that his systematic reviews show that influenza vaccines “have little or no effect on the effects measured.”1 He wonders why there is a gap between evidence and policy.

Jefferson identifies three reasons why his evidence contradicts policy.

Firstly, policy relies heavily on non-randomised studies. Yet his preference for randomised controlled trials is based on historical, pragmatic, and heuristic reasons and cannot be justified on epistemological …

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