In Australia, the National Health Protection Group (NHPG) warns that flu vaccines are more effective than most medicines.
“There’s no doubt that the flu vaccine is the best flu vaccine that we’ve ever had, but the thing is, it’s also the least expensive,” Dr Anthony Fauci, a senior adviser at NHPG, told Al Jazeera.
The NHPG is the Australian government body responsible for regulating Australia’s health system.
It sets national guidelines for how vaccines should be administered and has been the target of a number of lawsuits.
Last month, the court ruled that the NHPG had not adequately addressed the safety and efficacy of the flu shot.
The case concerned two people who were enrolled in a trial of the influenza vaccine in Melbourne.
Both men had previously been vaccinated against influenza and subsequently contracted the flu.
The court found that the trial participants had received two doses of the vaccine before being enrolled in the trial, and that the second dose had not been administered as required.
The trial participants were also given a flu vaccine containing only the flu toxin, so that they did not get a second dose of the injection.
“The trial participants, for whatever reason, were not provided with the vaccine containing the influenza toxin,” Justice Daniel Jules said in his ruling.
“This led to the trial participant having a significant increase in the number of influenza-like illness episodes that occurred following the second influenza dose administered in the three months following the first dose.
This was not the case for the placebo dose given.”
The court ruled, however, that the two trial participants who were not vaccinated with the flu vaccines were not protected against influenza.
“If they were vaccinated with an influenza vaccine that contained the influenza virus, and they were given the placebo vaccine, and the trial subjects were given a second flu dose, that would not have resulted in a statistically significant increase,” Justice Jules told the ABC.
“It’s just the fact that the vaccine had a placebo.
It’s not a safe vaccine to give people.”
Dr Andrew McAfee, a medical doctor at the University of Sydney, told the Australian Medical Association (AMA) that it was important to avoid the flu shots altogether.
“As a general rule, people should only get the flu vaccination when they’re really sick and not when they have the flu,” Dr McAfee said.
“But it’s a question of when you get sick and you get really sick, and you’ve got a high risk of complications from the flu and the flu itself.”
He said that even though the trial did not show a statistically higher risk of getting influenza, he recommended that people get the vaccine.
“I’d say you should probably not go to bed if you’re feeling particularly ill,” he said.
The AMA says it is reviewing the case.