Immunisation rates for the flu vary widely across the globe. While countries like Korea and Mexico top the list with immunisation rates above 80 per cent for those 65 an older, even industrialized nations like Spain, Japan or France only manage to vaccinate around half of their elderly population. According to data from the OECD, Germany, Norway and Denmark fare even worse, only vaccinating between 30-40 per cent of seniors.
Nations that vaccinate a lot of older people often do so as a result of government immunisation programs directly targeting the elderly.
In developing nations, it’s mainly children who are at risk of dying from influenza, according to research by the World Health Organization. Immunisation rates for poorer nations are often significantly lower or not even known. But a high immunisation rate does not always translate into a significant decrease in flu deaths – researchers must also predict outbreak times and flu strains accurately and hospitals must be able to administer the right care to effectively help a flu patient.