4.23.2010

1976 shot may protect against modern swine flu | Reuters

A New study finds that the 1976 swine flu shot may protect against modern swine flu.
According to the article:

Tests of blood from medical staff and their spouses showed those who had been vaccinated in 1976 had evidence of extra immune protection against both the 2009 H1N1 swine flu and the seasonal strain of H1N1 that circulated the year before.

"We gave this vaccine to 45 million people and it was declared one of the greatest public health blunders of all time, and now we are finding out that it actually did some good," said Dr. Jonathan McCullers of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, who led the study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The study, published on Friday, supports a theory that different strains of flu virus cycle in and out of circulation and that getting a flu vaccine every year may protect people from as-yet unseen flu strains in the future.

"Our research shows that while immunity among those vaccinated in 1976 has waned somewhat, they mounted a much stronger immune response against the current pandemic H1N1 strain than others who did not receive the 1976 vaccine," McCullers said.

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