Menu & Search

The flu vaccine given to millions of people in the UK last winter has contributed to the biggest spike in deaths since the 1960s, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

In February 2015, Public Health England warned that the main strain of influenza had mutated and the vaccine would not be as effective.

By the time the mutation was identified it was too late to change the vaccine formula, making it ineffective in two out of three adults.

The statistics show that an extra 28,189 people died in 2015, compared with the previous winter. This is the largest percentage increase in deaths since 1968.

In total, 16,415 excess deaths have been identified as being caused by flu, compared to 577 the previous year.

Dr. Richard Pebody, head of flu surveillance for Public Health England said: “Although in most winters, the vaccine is well matched, winter 2014/15 saw the circulation of a drifted H3 flu strain, making the vaccine less effective than the typical 50 per cent we had seen in recent previous years.”

The large increase in deaths has not been repeated in the early part of 2016. In the first 12 weeks, the deaths remain close to the five-year average.

It takes eight months to produce enough flu vaccines for the population, and it is manufactured between February and September. If there is a change in the virus once the production has started, it is impossible to change it.

Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England added: “An outbreak of flu can have a big impact, especially on those who are most vulnerable or experiencing other illnesses, such as dementia. An increase in deaths will generally lead to a decrease in life expectancy that year, but we have seen these annual fluctuations before and the overall trend has remained positive.”

The increased number of deaths in 2015 was so high in England and Wales that it lowered life expectancy by up to three months for children born in that year.

Public Health England said that this year’s vaccine looked like it would match the most dominant strain of flu for next winter.

Start Your Claim Today Call 01904 556600
Tell us about your case

Just send us a little bit about yourself and your claim and we will respond within 24 hours.


Get In Touch
Latest News

Local Fire Crews Recruited to Help Deal With Growing NHS Demands

The Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust has agreed on plans to draft in fire crews to take patients home in a bid to prevent overcrowding […]

Read More

NHS Cancer Treatment Waiting Times Worst on Record

Over halfway through the year, new figures show that 133,843 cancer patients have not been treated within the relevant standards. NHS cancer treatment waiting […]

Read More

Diabetes Prescriptions Cost the NHS More than £1bn A Year

Diabetes prescriptions are costing the NHS in England more than £1 billion a year, according to new figures from NHS Digital, up by almost […]

Read More

Take a look back through our complete news archive

Follow us on Twitter

Have you suffered an injury as the result of a defective implant? Here at Pryers Solicitors, we know that things don't always go as planned - and we want to help. Speak to one of our friendly advisors and learn more now
https://t.co/i93etgaoCp

We are recruiting for some new roles now available at Pryers. This is an exciting opportunity to join our team and play a key part in shaping the future of our firm. Apply here now

https://t.co/dOWWHzFXQp

Load More...