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Letter of the Week: Why not stop swine flu vaccine in children now?

The decision by the Department of Health to simply abandon the under-fives swine flu vaccination programme begs more questions than it answers (‘Government scraps swine flu vaccination campaign for under-fives').

For a start, why are we supposed to continue to vaccinate children till the end of March? If the DH has carried out a careful cost-risk-benefit analysis and decided it is no longer thought to be necessary why not just stop now? And how do we explain this to confused parents?

I know the decision to stockpile the vaccine had to be made quickly – and at a time when it was far from clear how serious the pandemic was going to be.

But what's changed from when the decision was made to vaccinate children to now? Very little it seems.

This latest decision seems to be based on financial expediency rather than clinical judgment. Is adopting the attitude of ‘well, if nobody wants it, let's not bother any more' a reasonable way to run a vaccination campaign?

Dr Margaret Hollings
Cardiff

The Department of Health needs to make a final decision on whether the swine flu vaccine is clinically necessary, Dr Hollings writes The Department of Health needs to make a final decision on whether the swine flu vaccine is clinically necessary, Dr Hollings writes

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