Public Health England has published new data highlighting the effectiveness of the flu vaccine nasal spray offered by the NHS during the 2016-17 flu season.
End-of-season figures have indicated that the vaccine reduced the risk of immunised children developing flu by 65.8 percent, while in younger adults aged 18 to 64 years, the reduction was 40.6 percent.
“The nasal spray flu vaccine offered by the NHS during the 2016-17 flu season has proven effective in protecting children, although it was less successful among over-65s.“
However, it was also revealed that the vaccine was not significantly effective in protecting against influenza for the over-65 population. Nevertheless, its effectiveness in children helped to provide indirect protection for other vulnerable members of the community.
Jenny Harries, deputy medical director for Public Health England, said: "Vaccines are the best defence we have against flu and not only protect people who have received the vaccine, but also those around them."
The childhood flu vaccine programme is being expanded to include children in school year 4 in 2017-18. Additionally, four-year-olds - who were previously offered flu vaccination in general practice - will now be offered it at school in reception class.
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