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Stanford researcher shows flu shot benefits outweigh costs in healthy young adults

as effective as the newer drugs zanamivir and oseltamivir. But no drug emerged as a clear winner; the medications need to be compared in head-to-head tests, Lee said.

All three antiviral medications are readily available, but the United States has experienced shortages of the flu vaccine in recent years. The prevalence of different flu strains changes over time, so the two main pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the vaccine make new batches each year based on World Health Organization recommendations. In 2001, fewer than 90 million doses were available in the United States, and shipment of the vaccine to clinics was delayed.

"For most flu seasons, it is cost-beneficial for the whole society to be vaccinated. But, if there's not enough vaccine to go around, you need to vaccinate those who need it most first," Lee said.


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Contact: Amy Adams
amyadams@stanford.edu
650-723-3900
Stanford University Medical Center
19-Aug-2002


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