Influenza vaccinations ‘do little’, wear a face mask as an alternative says health expert

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A push statement done to protect people against the flu with a "weak" vaccination is overshadowing effective prevention methods such as hand-washing and mask-wearing, a public health expert has been warned.

Dr. Chris Del Mar, Professor of Public Health at Bond University talked about the value of influenza vaccinations while he is speaking at the GPs Down Under Conference on the Gold Coast.

He claims that the influenza vaccine has been "oversold" in Australia and also said about the hand- washing, and mask-wearing should be focused on flu prevention campaigns.

Prof Del Mar pointed to a review that found seasonal flu vaccines only reduced the rate of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases by between 1 to 2 percent.

"Influenza is indeed a true threat to public health and I am not a vaccine skeptic in general, but annual influenza vaccinations do little to protect against serious illness," Professor Del Mar said.