A €1.2 million European project reports that mass vaccinations are the most cost-effective way to deal with flu. This should be followed by targeted treatment of those displaying symptoms, not mass issuing of drugs like Tamiflu.

The recommendations come from the world’s first extensive cost-effectiveness analysis of flu responses. The FLURESP Project has written to UK and European governments with a series of recommendations based on its conclusions. The models developed by the project are also available to help governments plan.

The research found mass vaccination of populations was more cost-effective than vaccination targeted at ‘at-risk’ subgroups, an approach favoured by many European countries. This is because the cost of vaccinations is low compared with the cost of awareness programs.