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Helen Salisbury: How will we run flu clinics in a pandemic?

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3033 (Published 30 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3033

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Re: Helen Salisbury: How will we run flu clinics in a pandemic?

Dear Editor

I share Helen Salisbury's concerns.
In fact there might be a case for scrapping this year's influenza vaccination programme.
There is debate as to whether 'flu jabs are effective e.g. (1).
It is possible that social distancing, the wearing of face-masks and restrictions on air travel and social events may reduce the incidence of other communicable diseases including influenza.
In the Southern Hemisphere news reports suggest that the incidence of influenza in their recent winter has been unusually low e.g.(2).
Is it ethical that vulnerable individuals should be encouraged to take the risk of mingling with others at, on the way to or outside "flu vaccine clinics" to obtain what is at best at best a marginal benefit?

1 Ann Intern Med doi:10.7326/M19-3075
2 https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/2018756887/wh...

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 August 2020
Peter Selley
Retired GP
Crediton, Devon