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There’s a need for new influenza vaccines, says U of M research

For those of you who missed it, Health Talk shared the findings of a new study from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), which said current influenza vaccines offer less protection against seasonal influenza than previously reported.

The new report, The Compelling Need for Game Changing Influenza Vaccines from the CIDRAP Comprehensive Influenza Vaccine Initiative (CCIVI), found that as part of an effort to reduce influenza illness and death, policy shifts toward a universal recommendation for influenza vaccination often were based on professional judgment and not on sound data.

In addition,  the report went on to say the misperception that current vaccines are highly effective in fighting influenza has become a barrier to creating new, more effective vaccines.

“We urge people to get their flu shot. The present vaccines are the best interventions available for seasonal influenza,” said Michael T. Osterholm, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Minnesota infectious disease expert and the CCIVI report’s lead author. “However, these vaccines do not offer consistent, high-level protection – especially in individuals at risk of medical complications or those aged older than 65 years. Unfortunately, these are the populations where we need the vaccines to work the best.  We need new influenza vaccines that work for everyone, most of the time.”

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