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Study urges H2N2 vaccination drive


An H2N2 flu vaccination programme should be carried out by governments in a bid to protect against any future pandemic, a report has claimed.

According to US researchers, a safe vaccine already exists after an H2N2 outbreak in the 1950s and 1960s, and using it on people younger than 50 now could save billions if a pandemic does develop.

The Vaccine Research Centre study claims an H2N2 pandemic to rival the H1N1 strain in 2009 is possible and preventative action must be taken.

Up to four million people are thought to have died during a global H2N2 outbreak between 1957 and 1968. The resultant vaccination programme was ended in the late 1960s, meaning most people below 50 have missed out on the protection.

Researcher Gary Nabel told Nature journal: “Our study suggests that people under the age of 50 have little or no immunity, and resistance dramatically increases for those older than 50. This was also the case for the 2009 H1N1.”

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Readers' comments (9)

  • there is so much conflicting information it is hard to know who and what to believe and whose advice on vaccines to take.

    I have a colleague who recently contracted Guillaume-Barré Syndrome presumably as a result of vaccines for travel to the Far East. All vaccines carry this risk, and it seems to be risky practice to pump foreign chemicals into a healthy human body, even though it is apparently rare he was one of the unlucky ones.

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  • OMG, payment by results again!!

    They used to drive cars around emitting viruses out of exhausts and smash light bulbs under trains containing viruses once upon a time - FACT! How do we know that, or similar, isn't going on now?

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  • If you are accessing this website I am assuming you are both health care professionals who at some time must be involved in giving vaccinations or advice about these. You should know that often Guilian Barre is as a result of a virus with no vaccine being implicated and as for the 2nd comment-what sort of balanced advice can you give to patients if this is how you rant and rave when not in work-not very rational is it?

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  • Kirsty Armstrong | 14-Mar-2011 9:08 am

    You cannot make assumptions about other commentators and their role in healthcare. this site is also open to the general public!

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  • with all the inherent and still unknown risks of the vaccine, and in light of all the conflicting information, the population of the uk cannot be coerced into accepting vaccination as the law currently stands. hopefully those who have the majority are adult enough to weigh up the risks and benefits to themselves and their contacts and make their own decision. Normally medical personnel should act in an advisory capacity but, in this case, as there are still no clear guidelines on the safety of the different vaccines available or the age groups at risk this is problematic in view of the potential, no matter how small, serious side effects of the vaccines.

    The causes of Guillaume Barré are unknown but it has been reported to be associated with vaccines and although relatively rare there is a risk and, in the above comment, its appearance just after the administration of travel vaccines indicates a stronger probability.

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  • Kirsty Armstrong | 14-Mar-2011 9:08 am

    everyone is allowed an opinion. Sounds like your advice is on pre-meditated assumptions and a bit of a rant and rave yourself

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  • this debate, on the topic raised in the above article, would be more helpful if it was based on rational argument and on challenging opinion rather than on personal attack on other commentators whose background and expeience is not known. Subjective criticism instead of objectivity has the tendency to block the flow and contribution of any further constructive thought!

    In order to continue a useful debate certain rules of etiquette need to be respected.

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  • Anonymous | 18-Mar-2011 6:13 pm

    you haven't stated any comment regarding the article, I would be interested to know your views based on a rational argument. My views are very sceptical, whether we as 'the public' (once you become a patient that is what you become, health professional or otherwise - we are not immune) are subject to treatment/prevention' or 'risk taking'? If a 'safe vaccine' existed in the 50's, where has it been? My 'guess' is that further research has unearthed more sceptism. We are getting deeper and deeper into pharma,, money, money..

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  • Anonymous | 19-Mar-2011 0:14 am

    my comments regarding the article

    Anonymous | 11-Mar-2011 1:13 pm Anonymous | 14-Mar-2011 9:17 am
    Anonymous | 14-Mar-2011 4:41pm Anonymous | 18-Mar-2011 6:13 pm

    the information on vaccines, which groups need them and their safety, remains nebulous

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