Dutch study shows elderly benefit from flu shots

Wednesday, November 3rd 2004, 10:53 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ A Dutch study on the effectiveness of flu shots in the elderly shows the seriousness of the vaccine shortage in the US.

The study found that elderly people who got any flu shots from 1996 to 2002 were 22%less likely to die from any cause. Those who got annual shots were 28% less likely to die during flu epidemics.

Yearly flu shots have been recommended in the US for people 65 and older since the 1960s, and for those 50 and older since 2000. But until the Dutch study, there was little evidence how effective such programs are.

Some 36,000 Americans die from flu-related causes every year, most of them elderly.