Flu jab blunder fuelled biggest spike in deaths since 1960s

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Flu jab blunder fuelled biggest spike in deaths since 1960s

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:54 pm

The flu jab blunder contributed to the largest spike in deaths in a generation, new figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown.

An extra 28,189 people died last year compared with 2014, the largest percentage increase since 1968. The majority of the excess deaths were people aged over 75, many of whom died from flu.

The number of deaths in England and Wales was so high that it has lowered life expectancy for girls born this year by two months to 79.3, and boys by three months to 82.9, the first fall in two decades.

Last year Public Health England (PHE) warned that the main strain of influenza in circulation had mutated unexpectedly. But by then it was too late to change the vaccine formula even though it meant the jab was largely ineffective.

The mutated strain, A(H3N2) was particularly lethal to the elderly, and the jab was found to work in just one in three adults, compared to the 50 per cent that it usually protects.

Today PHE admitted that the mismatched flu jab had fuelled the rise in deaths.



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