Flu vaccines found to be less effective

A major new study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that efficacy of older flu vaccines appears to be declining.  The research also questions the effectiveness of retroviral treatments. The research, which was led by Rick Bright and his team, found that resistance to the virus has risen to about 15 percent. The team says resistance to the older drugs amantadine and rimantadine is "particularly disturbing."

The study did not examine resistance to oseltamivir or zanamivir, two newer drugs which are being stockpiled by governments around the world to guard against the possibility of a global flu pandemic. The research appears in this week's edition of the British medical journal the Lancet.   

- see this story from the Associated Press

PLUS: A related meta-analysis published in the Lancet concludes that vaccines are no longer doing the job they once did in protecting the elderly from the flu. That doesn't mean they aren't working, however. The team found vaccines still reduce hospitalizations by about 17 percent and deaths by about 40 percent. Story