Jabs jeopardy - Scrapping free flu jabs for 50–64-year-olds and targeted mpox vaccines is a false economy

PUTNEY, U.K. - June 2, 2023 - PRLog -- The Government's decision to axe free flu jabs for 50-64-year-olds has been called a false economy by a leading health testing expert. The free jab was introduced in 2020 to ease the burden on the NHS during Covid and had remained in place ever since. It means around 12 million Brits will no longer qualify for a jab. The decision to wind down targeted mpox (monkeypox) vaccinations this summer, despite a recent increase in cases, has also been criticised as short sighted.

Leading testing expert, Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: 'The axing of these two important vaccination campaigns represents a startlingly myopic decision by the Government, which could go on to have severe consequences. In terms of the ending of free Covid jabs for 50–65-year-olds, NHS England has been clear on its benefits, saying: "Flu immunisation is one of the most effective interventions we can provide to reduce harm from flu and pressures on health and social care services during the winter." Of most concern it also acknowledged that: "By preventing flu infection through vaccination, secondary bacterial infections such as pneumonia are prevented. This reduces the need for antibiotics and helps prevent antibiotic resistance."

'Similarly, the Government has clearly been precipitous in ending its targeted monkeypox vaccinations campaign. The Government claimed in March that a sustained reduction in case numbers meant a targeted vaccine programme would no longer needed and could be wound down in the summer. However, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says that there have been a further 10 cases of monkeypox diagnosed in the UK since 4 May.

'The obvious conclusion is that the Government is cutting costs by axing free vaccines for groups of potentially at-risk people. This emphasis on money saving is even referred to in the latest statement of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI). Discussing flu vaccines, it stated in November: "JCVI is of the view that whilst there would be a clear health benefit in vaccinating low risk 50-64 year olds, it is uncertain whether this would be cost effective. As in recent years, JCVI supports vaccination in this group in principle if funding is available but remains concerned that it might not meet strict cost-effectiveness requirements and could divert from more cost-effective interventions." In other words, despite "clear health benefits" it's the Government's "strict cost-effectiveness requirements" that are taking precedence.

'For anyone concerned about their potential lack of immunity to viruses, a general health test might be a useful course of action, to ensure they are in overall good health to help fight the symptoms of new viruses.' For full details, see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/general-health

David Jinks
Head of Public Relations
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