Faster vaccination response is needed to curb effects of flu pandemics, study concludes

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 20 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3423
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

To substantially reduce illness, deaths, and costs from severe flu pandemics, vaccination campaigns need to be launched much sooner than they were in the United States during the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic in 2009, a new computer modeling study indicates.

The study appears in the current issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.1 Nayer Khazeni of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California, was the study’s lead author.

Large scale vaccination against H1N1 influenza A in 2009 did not occur in the US until nine months after the beginning of the pandemic, by which time two waves of infections had already passed through the population. Fortunately, the virus proved to be far less virulent than was initially thought, and the death rate …

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