Winter Flu Shots May Not Work


 
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SAN FRANCISCO (ASRN.ORG)- As if the world didn't have enough problems in developing a vaccine against the new H1N1 influenza virus, commonly known as swine flu, there may be problems with the seasonal flu vaccine that has been produced for this winter's flu season.

Some laboratory tests indicate there is a new strain of the H3N2 flu virus -- one of three strains included in the flu vaccine -- that is different from the A/Brisbane/10 strain of H3N2 that was selected for the vaccine. If that is the case, the vaccine will provide less protection than authorities had hoped. 

The new strain has shown up in only a few laboratory tests, but that may be because labs have looked so hard at swine flu isolates that they have had little time to study seasonal flu, which is perceived as less threatening.

Health authorities will keep an eye on nursing homes this autumn because the H3N2 strains prey particularly hard on the elderly. 

Meanwhile, in a drive to inoculate people against swine flu before winter, many European governments say they will fast-track the testing of a vaccine, arousing concern about safety and proper doses.

The U.S. is taking a more cautious approach: the government has called for volunteers to be injected with the swine flu vaccine in tests to assess the vaccine's safety. American officials said results should be ready by the time the U.S. plans to roll out a vaccination campaign in October.


Copyright 2009- American Society of Registered Nurses (ASRN.ORG)-All Rights Reserved 



 
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Articles in this issue:

Masthead

  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Contributors:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

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