The Editorial Executive Committee welcomes letters, which should be less than 250 words. Before a decision to publish is made, letters which refer to a published article may be sent to the author for a response. Any letter may be sent to an expert for comment. When letters are published, they are usually accompanied in the same issue by their responses or comments. The Committee screens out discourteous, inaccurate or libellous statements. The letters are sub-edited before publication. Authors are required to declare any conflicts of interest. The Committee's decision on publication is final.
Letter to the editor
Editor, With respect, the article 'Recommendations for pneumococcal vaccination', a policy developed by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (Aust Prescr 1994;17:41) is not a recommendation, it is a 'negative recommendation'.
What is the prescribing doctor to make of it? It starts with 'Analysis of the data available does not support a public health strategy to vaccinate all individuals in a particular at risk group.' The article therefore advises not to immunise if a patient does not fall into an at risk group, but does not advise us to whom within the at risk groups we should offer the vaccine. That is the question that the policy should address.
- Torzillo P. Pneumococcal vaccine: current status. Aust NZ J Med 1993;23:285-90.