Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A little good news about flu vaccines

It turns out that getting a flu shot can be beneficial even if they predict the strain mix wrong. Now, I don't know how quick I'd be to extend that result to the bird flu, but the professional scientist people seem to.

Suzanne Ohmit of the University of Michigan School of Public Health and her colleagues found that in the fall of 2004, Sanofi-Pasteur's FluZone vaccine was 77 percent effective and MedImmune Inc.'s Flumist worked in 57 percent of the cases even though the flu strain making the rounds that year was not selected for the vaccine.


Bird flu is expected to be so novel nobody will have any immunity to it, said Monto. As a result, people are going to need two doses of the vaccine, just as children who have never been exposed to regular influenza need two doses of the flu vaccine to be protected.

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