Britain will not be following the lead of America and vaccinating children against flu, it was reported today.
Government advisers have concluded there is not enough evidence that vaccination is effective in children, according to Pulse magazine.
Countries like the USA are rolling out flu vaccination to help limit the impact of a bird flu epidemic should it happen. The vaccines do not protect against the H5N1 bird flu strain but scientists are concerned about the dangers of an epidemic of the two kinds of flu at the same time.
The group concluded there was no evidence that the vaccination would work in children - although it found that if it did it would have a massive effect in preventing the spread of an epidemic.
Group member Professor Karl Nicholson, of the University of Leicester, said: "People may look at the US and wonder why we aren’t doing the same thing, but I think it’s right to be cautious. We need to have watertight evidence before we can reach a decision."
But virus expert Professor John Oxford, of Queen Mary, University of London, said: "I sympathise that there isn’t any evidence, but the situation is unlikely to be different in the UK. Personally, I rather like the speed with which the US has moved on this.
"I hope that when the evidence is available we move with similar speed."
via Staff Nurse