Programme no. 250-OP
Background: This study has been published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Sep 4, 2014. DOI 10.1007/s10096-014-2236-2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25185860
In developed countries, influenza vaccination is either recommended to the whole population or to certain subgroups at risk of developing severe complications. To assess the scientific evidence for this practice, the Cochrane Collaboration has published several meta-analyses on the subject.
Twelve reviews were found investigating the effect of influenza vaccination on healthy children, healthy adults, the elderly, healthcare workers working with the institutionalised elderly, COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, children being treated with chemotherapy for cancer, immunosuppressed individuals with cancer, persons with haematological malignancies and people with coronary heart disease.
A positive effect in reducing the number of cases of influenza, influenza-like illness or complications to influenza was found in some reviews, but generally the risk of bias was high, several studies lacked hard clinical endpoints, and data on side effects were scarce.