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Less effective flu vaccine is not 'useless'

Posted 2/18/2015

Irresponsible and inaccurate headlines across the UK are endangering lives, say the NHS.

Mutation of the most predominant strain of the virus circulating this year means that the corresponding strain in the vaccine does not match and, overall, is only about 3% effective. But even this 3% could be important to groups at risk of the flu.

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End game in the battle against polio?

Posted 2/16/2015

1963 US poster for the oral polio vaccine 1963 US poster for the oral polio vaccine Friday, 13 February 2015 was hopefully a lucky day for those engaged in the ongoing struggle to eradicate poliomyelitis.

A meeting of great minds at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose announced their latest efforts in developing a "designer" polio vaccine. Their hope is that the new vaccine will effectively target polio without suffering some of the downsides of the existing oral vaccine.

This news comes just a few days after Somalia was declared polio-free for 6 months. Polio is now endemic in only three countries, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistain - although Nigeria has also been clear of the disease for over half a year. A new vaccine could help consign it to history for good.

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