Annual number and cost of flu vaccinations (FOI)
Annual number and cost of flu vaccinations (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 24 July 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
With serious doubts now existing over the actual benefits derived from taking the flu jab, [we] are preparing a portfolio of information for Public Health with regards to a possible natural, proven replacement. In order to prepare a financial comparison, we require information relating the number of vaccinations provided in an average year on the Island, and the associated cost to the tax payer.
There are not, as alleged, serious doubts about the benefits derived from flu vaccination.
Throughout the last decade, there has generally been a good match between the inactivated strains of flu included in the injectable flu vaccine and the strains of flu that circulate and cause disease.
In 2014, however, the strain of flu virus ‘genetically drifted’, but it would be wrong if this was being used as a reason to cast doubt over the benefits of flu vaccination.
The very high rate of flu disease that occurred during winter 2014 / 15, when there was a mismatch between the vaccine and the dominant circulating flu virus, demonstrates in fact, just how beneficial flu vaccine had been for each year of the previous decade.
Turning to the question of flu vaccination numbers and costs, the Social Security Department have provided the following figures for the number of injectable flu vaccines dispensed on the island and associated costs.
The cost of flu vaccines is paid for by the Health Insurance Fund (HIF). The HIF is derived from a percentage of all social security contributions paid rather than funded directly from taxation. These are inclusive of the cost of the drugs, the dispensing cost, and the medical benefit rebate that is paid directly to the GPs. Dispensing fees paid vary according to prescription volume therefore we have taken the median midpoint of the potential cost range.
2013 to 2014
Volume of flu vaccines dispensed: 17,378
Approximate cost: £514,000
2014 to 2015
Volume of flu vaccines dispensed: 17,485
Approximate cost: £524,000
Additionally, the injectable flu vaccine is offered to Health and Social Services (HSSD) staff to protect against flu and reduce the risk of flu being transmitted to patients.
The average number of flu injections administered annually to HSSD staff is 1,200 and associated costs average £6,556 annually.