Thursday, April 8, 2010

Studies link H1N1 to seasonal flu shots

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Controversial flu vaccine study finally published, but questions raised linger

A set of controversial studies that suggested getting a previous seasonal flu shot doubled a person's risk of catching pandemic H1N1 last spring has finally been published -- though the mystery of whether the finding is real remains.

But outside of Canada, where the effect wasn't seen, scientists scratched their heads and dismissed the inexplicable and troubling findings as "the Canadian problem."

But the fact remains research elsewhere so far doesn't corroborate these findings and there isn't an easy way to explain why getting vaccinated against seasonal flu would make a person more susceptible to catching the new flu virus.

"The question is: OK, is it real? And the answer is: It's not clear."

Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control said for her, the story of this research was one of "finding results that you don't like and that others like even less."

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