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H1N1 Flu Vaccine May Shield Against 1918 Strain
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WEDNESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- The H1N1 influenza vaccine distributed in 2009 also appears to protect against the 1918 Spanish influenza virus killed more than 50 million people nearly a century ago, new research in mice reveals.
The finding stems from work funded by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, which examined the vaccine's efficacy in influenza protection among mice.
"While the reconstruction of the formerly extinct Spanish influenza virus was important in helping study other pandemic viruses, it raised some concerns about an accidental lab release or its use as a bioterrorist agent," study author Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, a professor of microbiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said in a school news release. "Our research shows that the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine protects against the Spanish influenza virus, an important breakthrough in preventing another devastating pandemic like 1918."
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