Oct 16, 2012

By Jane Brown

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As many Ontarians head to their doctors for a flu shot, a new U.S. report is questioning the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.  The report is from public health experts at the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.  It says existing flu shots offer moderate protection some years and less in others.  The authors call for the development of “game changing” vaccines,  but say people should still get the flu shot in the meantime. 

Doctor Donald Low is the Chief Microbiologist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.  He tells the New AM 740’s Goldhawk Fights Back, while the odd new influenza strain may come along,  it’s the seasonal flu bug that we need to be protected against.  He says, “Every year we’re going to see influenza A and B, and we’re most concerned about influenza A and getting our shots up to date and protecting us against H1N1 and H3N2.”  Dr. Low says there’s also a new, easy-to-administer nasal spray vaccine for people who can’t take needles.  Pharmacists in Ontario will be able to administer the flu shot starting October 22nd.


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