Rapid responses are electronic letters to the editor. They enable our users to debate issues raised in articles published on thebmj.com. Although a selection of rapid responses will be included online and in print as readers' letters, their first appearance online means that they are published articles. If you need the url (web address) of an individual response, perhaps for citation purposes, simply click on the response headline and copy the url from the browser window. Letters are indexed in PubMed.
1. The statement about "an overall vaccine efficacy of 60%" is misleading. In fact the cited Cochrane group concluded: "Influenza vaccines have a very modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost in the general population, including pregnant women."
2. It is true, that NICE recommends antivirals for people who are in a special situation to prevent influenza. But still the evidence is lacking.
What we need to know: We need informed patients, but we do need well informed doctors as well. This should be the challenge of the BMJ.