By Dominic Hughes, Health Correspondent, BBC News
Governments should launch a vaccination programme now to guard against a possible H2N2 flu pandemic, according to an article in the journal Nature.
The US authors say immunity to the H2N2 flu strain is very low in people under the age of 50.
But a safe vaccine already exists after an H2N2 outbreak in the 1950s and ’60s.
They say that vaccinating now could save billions of dollars if a pandemic does develop.
Dr Gary Nabel and colleagues from the Vaccine Research Centre in the US say H2N2 has the ability to cause a pandemic in the same way that H1N1 did in 2009.
Between 1957 and 1968, the strain is thought to have caused up to 4 million deaths in a global outbreak, during which time a vaccine was developed.
When the pandemic was over the H2N2 vaccination programme was stopped in the late 1960s, although the virus is still present today among birds and swine.
[Note from SaneVax: This ‘scientific’ conclusion came from the huge ‘study’ of 90 people. Another potential pandemic threat? Not to mention a ready-made solution to the ‘threat.’ Draw your own conclusions.]