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Flu vaccine found to cut deaths by 19%-not 50%

Claims than the influenza vaccine can cut mortality by 50% are not supported by the evidence, according to Canadian researchers.

Their study estimated the reduction in mortality in 700 patients hospitalised for community-acquired pneumonia outside the normal winter flu season.

They found after adjustment for confounding factors, those who had previously received the flu vaccine had a 19% decreased risk of dying compared with matched controls.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2008; 178 527-33

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