Intended for healthcare professionals


Is this the end of the line for flu vaccine as we know it?

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 17 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:677

Cure is sometimes better and cheaper than prevention

How gratifying to see some sense expressed instead of the wearisome
and fallacious party line. The vast expense on an untried vaccine to cope
with a hypothetical risk which could be better and more cheaply coped
with by antivirals is completely unjustified. It is also very worrying
that the Medicines Control Agency refuse point blank to release any data
about the tests on safety which allegedly have been carried out somewhere
in Europe by an unnamed manufacturer. This stance is echoed by the
epidemiologists at the DH who even decline to say whether they have
actually seen these results. No wonder Mori polls indicate that 41% of
people do not believe claims made for vaccination. Certainly no more
attempts at "bribery (of GP's)… to achieve any further uptake" should be
made until the real efficacy and safety of the new 'flu vaccines have been
established by investigators outside the drug industry.

Competing interests: No competing interests

19 March 2001
G H Hall
Retired physician