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Scientists claim flu vaccine is 'waste of money'

Scientists claim flu vaccine is 'waste of money'
22nd November 2012

The flu vaccine that is given to thousands of older adults in the UK every year has been described by scientists as "overhyped" and a waste of money.

A report published by the Centre for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, stated it is a misconception that existing flu vaccines are highly effective and this has become a barrier to developing new treatments.

One expert told the Independent that the government ought to be held accountable for the annual spending of £120 million on the annual vaccination campaign.

Michael Osterholm, director of CIDRAP and professor of Environmental Health Sciences, said: "I have been a strong proponent of vaccination in general and flu vaccine in particular for many years. I still recommend its use as the best we have. But we have over-promoted this vaccine."

All older adults above 65 are given the flu vaccine at no cost, while it is also available to pregnant women and patients of all ages with chronic illnesses such as asthma.

The NHS says a case of flu will usually clear up within a week.

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