"There is no evidence to show if regular influenza vaccine is beneficial to people with CF"
Influenza (flu) is a highly infectious disease, caused by viruses. Influenza has been thought to cause asthma attacks. Few trials have
been carried out in a way that tests whether asthma attacks following influenza infection (as opposed to following the vaccination) are
significantly reduced by having influenza vaccination, so uncertainty remains in terms of how much difference vaccination makes to
people with asthma. The included studies suggest that the vaccine against influenza is unlikely to precipitate asthma attacks immediately
after the vaccine is used.
There is no high quality evidence that vaccinating healthcare workers reduces the incidence of influenza or its complications
in the elderly in institutions
There is evidence that vaccinating the elderly has a modest impact on the complications from influenza. There is also high quality
evidence that vaccinating healthy adults under 60 (which includes healthcare workers) reduces cases of influenza. Both the elderly in
institutions and the healthcare workers who care for them could be vaccinated for their own protection, but an incremental benefit of
vaccinating healthcare workers for the benefit of the elderly cannot be proven without better studies.
In long-term care facilities, where vaccination is most effective against complications, the aims of the vaccination campaign are fulfilled,
at least in part. However, according to reliable evidence the usefulness of vaccines in the community is modest. The apparent high
effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing death from all causes may reflect a baseline imbalance in health status and other systematic
differences in the two groups of participants.
Influenza vaccines are efficacious in children older than two but little evidence is available for children under two. There was a
marked difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. No safety comparisons could be carried out, emphasizing the need for
standardisation ofmethods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. Itwas surprising to find only one study of inactivated
vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and
Canada. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes
and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.