One of the more intriguing findings of this study is that receipt of flu vaccine the previous year seemed to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine, a finding that is not new. What struck me most after reading these two papers, though, was this statement in the editorial:
"It is frequently stated that evaluation of influenza vaccines in randomized controlled trials is “unethical”, but given that the effectiveness of the vaccine is unclear, the subjects in such studies are typically at extremely low risk of serious disease, and that effective antiviral therapy is available, perhaps this statement should be reconsidered."When a vaccine’s effectiveness causes experts to consider a return to randomized controlled trials, it’s safe to say that the vaccine in question is pretty awful. We desperately need something better.