Was the Seasonal Flu Shot Risk a Scare?

Also see: "New York Health Care Workers Resist Flu Vaccine Rule"

ABC News Excerpt

By MICHAEL SMITH
MedPage Today North American Correspondent
Sept. 26, 2009

Canadian research suggested this week that the seasonal flu vaccination may increase the risk of catching the H1N1 pandemic strain, but government officials said such a pattern has not been found in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The unpublished work appears to suggest that people who had been vaccinated against last year's seasonal flu were about twice as likely as others to catch the pandemic strain when it appeared this spring.

But statistics from the CDC do not show a similar risk.

"It is difficult to speak about a study that has yet to be published," said CDC spokesman Joe Quimby, a senior press officer.

But, he added, "it is important to note that scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not seen this effect in systems we have reviewed in the U.S." ...

The Canadian research -- drawn from studies in three Canadian provinces during the spring pandemic outbreak -- has been submitted for publication to a scholarly journal, and the lead authors were not immediately available for comment.

But co-author Dr. Danuta Skowronski, of the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, told the Canadian Press she wanted more scrutiny on the Canadian research in question.

"We continue to urge people to receive both the seasonal flu vaccine and the 2009 H1N1 vaccine," Quimby said.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/SwineFluNews/cdc-reports-increased-h3n1-risk-seasonal-flu-shot/story?id=8676187