JBPC Reports

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A general appraisal of influenza vaccines for young children and the elderly

Clinical Reviews Team
Collegium Basilea (Institute of Advanced Study), Basel, Switzerland

Supplement to vol. 17 (2017). Citation: J. Biol. Phys. Chem. (Suppl.) 17 (2017) S1–S51.
DOI: 10.4024/01RP17A.jbpc.rpt.01
Publication date: 17 September 2017
Copyright © 2017 Collegium Basilea and AMSI

ABSTRACT. There is a trend to promote population-wide vaccination of defined sections of the population (e.g., children up to a certain age; elderly citizens) against fairly common, but nevertheless dangerous, diseases, most notably influenza ('flu). This report examines the nature of the disease, its medical consequences (which are dependent, inter alia, on the immune status of the infected person) and the vaccination process. These aspects can be quantified in terms of cost and life-expectancy, and the corresponding Judgment (J)-value computed. Subsidiary issues are also discussed, such as the influence of moral hazard and placebo/nocebo effects, whether vaccination campaigns rank as mass medication, and how citizens are persuaded to consider undergoing vaccination. The focus of the report is the UK NHS, but with relevant international comparisons.