Yale Cancer Center develops new flu vaccination strategy

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Researchers at the Yale Cancer Center have developed a new vaccination strategy that they say greatly reduces the risk of potentially life-threatening flu infections in cancer patients that are the most vulnerable.

Studies have shown that patients with cancers of the immune system are extremely susceptible to common infections and a one-time flu shot is not the remedy.

Yale's new strategy consists of offering patients a high-dose flu vaccine followed by a second high-dose booster shot one month later.

Dr. Andrew Branagan says the vaccination strategy lowered the infection rate among patients to 6 percent and it improved protection against all flu strains covered by the vaccine in 66 percent of patients.

Yale's findings were presented Sunday at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

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