How flu vaccines are manufactured is making them ineffective, warns a study as the threat of dreaded Aussie flu looms large.
Scientists believe the traditional process using chicken eggs is allowing the virus to escape detection from our immune systems – making it more deadly.
Flu viruses are constantly changing proteins on their surface to avoid being spotted, but the 70-year old technique is helping them, researchers warn.
The US Government-funded study backs up the belief that this annual year’s flu jab isn’t strong enough to fight an aggressive strain which has blighted Australia.
Tests revealed H3N2, currently on its way to Britain and expected to wreak havoc on the NHS this winter, has began to mutate already, hampering the vaccine.
Experts are worried it could pose the same threat to humanity as the Hong Kong flu epidemic in 1968, claimed one million lives.