1. Seasonal Flu Shot May Double Swine Flu Risk A Canadian study found that people who are vaccinated against ordinary seasonal flu double their risk of catching swine flu. The unpublished study has stunned government agencies and thrown national vaccination plans into upheaval as well as tested the publics faith in the governments ability to protect their health. Although many experts are skeptical of the studys results, several provinces in Canada have announced plans to suspend seasonal flu vaccinations. It has confused things very badly, Dr. Ethan Rubinstein, head of adult infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba, told The Globe and Mail. And it has certainly cost us credibility from the public because of conflicting recommendations. Until last week, there had been much encouragement to get the seasonal flu vaccine. Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan provinces have suspended seasonal flu shots for all people under 65 years old. Instead, they are focusing on vaccinating for the H1N1 swine flu virus during the autumn months and plan to resume seasonal flu vaccinations early in 2010. By the time the H1N1 wave is over, there will be ample time to vaccinate for seasonal flu, Rubinstein said. So far, health authorities in the United States have stated they havent found a similar link. The head of vaccine research for the World Health Organization has suggested the Canadian study is flawed, but Dr. Rubinstein doesnt agree. There are a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers, he said. And the sample is very large12 or 13 million people taken from the central reporting system in three provinces. The research is solid. Senior citizens, who carry antibodies that seem to largely protect them from the effects of H1N1, are still urged to get the seasonal flu shot, since they are more likely to be susceptible to the worst effects of seasonal flu. Scientists do not understand the link between seasonal flu shots and the H1N1 virus. At the present time, it is quite perplexing, said Dr. Rubinstein. I received this in an E-mail newslink, so there is no link to the article.