Background: The seasonal influenza vaccination programme in England targets individuals over 65. years old and in clinical risk groups. Methods: A model of influenza transmission and disease was fitted to weekly primary care consultations due to influenza in a typical pre-pandemic season (2006/2007). Different scenarios were constructed about influenza severity and how well vaccines match circulating strains to assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of the current vaccination programme. Results: A well-matched vaccine may reduce the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza illness from 8.2% (95% range 4.3-13%) to 5.9% (95% range 2.9-9.7%), with 56-73% of this due to indirect protection. The programme is likely to be cost-effective unless both low severity and poor matching is assumed. Conclusion: The current seasonal influenza vaccination programme appears to substantially reduce disease burden and provides good value for money.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Praveen Sebastianpillai for provision of virological data from the RCGP samples for 2006/2007. Financial support for this study was partially provided by a grant from the Policy Research Programme of the Department of Health, England (reference number DOH 039/0031 ). The authors’ work was independent of the funders, who had no role in the study design, analysis of data, writing of the manuscript or decision to submit for publication.