Mar 25, 2013

By AM740 Staff

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A prominent specialist in infectious diseases says mandatory flu shots for health-care providers should be put on hold until there is a more effective vaccine.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued its interim estimates of seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness for the US.

It says the results, combined with reports from Canada and Europe, show that the most widely used vaccine  is only 9% effective for seniors 65 years and older  against the most common and virulent strain of influenza.

Dr. Michael Gardam gets a flu shot every year and urges others to as well  but says he believes mandatory programs for health-care workers could end up being challenged in the courts.

Dr. Allison McGeer  is Director of Infection Control at Mount Sinai Hospital.

She says a better vaccine would be welcome, but the current one does help to save lives  and should be given to people providing health care services.

Doctor Gardam’s comments  are published in this week’s issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.


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