Flu jabs advised

October 13, 1995

Medical academics are adding their weight to a national campaign urging "high risk" individuals to be vaccinated against flu as soon as possible.

John Oxford, professor of virology at the London Hospital Medical College, and a member of the Association for Influenza Monitoring and Surveillance scientific advisory board, said: "An influenza outbreak is inevitable every winter. However, the size of the outbreak is unpredictable. To be on the safe side, anyone in the 'high risk' groups should be vaccinated to protect them against the prevalent flu strains for this season."

There has already been an outbreak in a school in the Midlands, Professor Oxford said. The virus causing it had been found to match a virus in the vaccine, which is good news.

The flu virus is highly changeable, and the vaccine needs to be updated every year, he said. Academic research was always needed to determine how quickly the structure of the virus was changing.

High-risk patients include those with asthma and bronchitis, chronic heart disease, kidney failure and immunosuppression due to disease or treatment. Elderly people with these conditions are particularly at risk, and those in residential or nursing homes, where infection could spread rapidly, should also be vaccinated.

Jon Van-Tam, lecturer in public health medicine and epidemiology at the University Hospital Nottingham, is co-author of a recent study in The Lancet showing that flu deaths may be reduced by up to 75 per cent with repeated annual vaccinations.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns