Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Half-Dose Flu Shots Work for Adults

They have done a government study and found that half-dose flu shots are effective in adults. They are especially effective in women and those younger than 50. This offers a way to stretch supplies during vaccine shortages. During hard economic times, the strategy might be an option since lower doses would mean cheaper shots also. The lower dosage could open doors to vaccinating people in poor countries where flu shots are little used.

The study involved l,114 adults aged 18 to 64. It is the first to test half-dose flu shots in those aged 50 and older during a single flu season 2004-2005. The results among younger adults echo previous research. Traditionally, vaccine programs have followed a "one size fits all" approach which means everyone gets the same dose and during shortages, supplies are more likely to run out. Half-doses could be given to a large numbers of adults, if the study results are confirmed through additional research. This would enable more people to get vaccinated. This is very important as each year the disease is responsible for 36,000 deaths.

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