Flu vaccine effective even when not an exact match

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 19, 2007

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Influenza vaccine can reduce laboratory-confirmed cases of this respiratory illness even when its composition is less than optimal, says a study in the March Pediatrics.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers established a case-control study at a pediatric practice in Atlanta from Nov. 1, 2003, to Jan. 31, 2004, to determine vaccine effectiveness in children 6 months to 5 years. That season's vaccine was a less-than-perfect match for circulating strains. But the immunization cut the chance of developing flu by 70% among children 2 to 5 years old. It had no impact on younger children.

"These results support recommendations for influenza vaccination of children," wrote the authors.

The World Health Organization last month also selected the strains to be included in the vaccine for the 2007-08 season. Viruses similar to A/Solomon Islands/3/2006 (H1N1), A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2) and B/Malaysia/2506/2004 will be in the mix.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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