Seasonal flu jab offers 'some protection' against swine flu

The 2008/9 seasonal flu vaccine may provide some protection against swine flu, particularly the most severe forms of the disease, preliminary research from Mexico suggests.

However, the researchers stress that the findings should be considered cautiously and in no way indicate that seasonal vaccine should replace vaccination against pandemic influenza A/H1N1.

For this latest study, Dr Jose Luis Valdespino and colleagues investigated the link between the 2008/9 seasonal flu vaccine with cases of influenza A/H1N1 during the epidemic in a speciality hospital in Mexico City.

They say the reason the seasonal vaccine offers some protection is because it boosts existing antibodies in individuals who have previously been exposed to a similar flu virus, either by infection or vaccination.

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