High-dose, immune-boosting or four-strain? A guide to flu vaccines for over-65s

Flu vaccines work by exposing the body to a component of the virus so it can “practise” fighting it off, without risking infection. The immune system can then mount a more rapid and effective response when faced with a “real” virus. Three types of influenza vaccines are available in Australia: “standard” vaccines that contains four different strains of influenza a […]

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Slow start, but it’s not over yet: 5 things to know about this year’s flu season

As influenza season trudges on, public health officials report fewer cases than last year’s severe and deadly season. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released recently shows a more effective vaccine compared with the previous two seasons and called this season a low-severity year so far for influenza—classified as having a fever, cough and body aches. But local […]

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This year’s flu shot is 72% effective against the dominant strain – much better than last year’s, researchers say

Canadian researchers say that this year’s flu vaccine appears to reduce the risk of catching the dominant flu strain by 72 per cent – much better than last year’s flu shot. “A vaccine effectiveness of about 70 per cent means that among 10 cases of influenza in unvaccinated people, the number would have been reduced to just three cases if […]

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A century after the Spanish flu, preparing for the next pandemic

Spare a thought this morning as you open up or login to the Herald  over breakfast. With their toast and porridge, Herald readers 100 years ago to the day – on January 25, 1919 – read the news of the suspected arrival in their midst of what was to become the most threatening health crisis Sydney has ever faced – the so-called […]

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How certain bacteria protect us against flu

In most cases, when someone mentions the microbiome, they are referring to the bacteria in the gut. However, bacteria cover every inch of us, both inside and out, and the term “microbiome” refers to all of our microbial passengers. The bacteria in our respiratory system are currently receiving increased attention. Some of them, scientists believe, may be able to protect […]

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