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Flu shots may not protect against illnesses

August 29, 2008 2:53:36 PM PDT
Canadian researchers say flu shots may not actually protect the elderly from deadly diseases like pneumonia. The group's conclusion challenges some widely held medical beliefs.

Doctors at the University of Alberta studied approximately 700 people ages 65 and older for their research. Half of the subjects had received flu shots.

The doctors concluded that any "all-cause mortality" benefit to those who had gotten the shot was not statistically significant. The study's authors said efforts directed at improving care were better directed at vaccinating children and healthcare workers and urging the public to wash hands frequently.

The research will be published in the September issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine.


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