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Flu vaccines inadequate, claims study

A new generation of more effective flu vaccines is "urgently needed" to prevent widespread illness and death, it was claimed today.

Scientists, who analysed 40 years of data, concluded that current vaccines offered inadequate protection against both seasonal influenza outbreaks and serious pandemics.

Evidence for their effectiveness in older individuals was also lacking, said the researchers, who pooled the results of 31 studies published over four decades.

Dr Michael Osterholm, from the University of Minnesota in the US, one of the lead authors of the study published today in the journal, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, said: "There is an urgent need for a new generation of more highly effective and cross-protective vaccines."

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