a hard sell ...http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12691894
Call to vaccinate against possible H2N2 flu pandemic
Governments should launch a vaccination programme now to guard against a possible H2N2 flu pandemic, according to an article in the journal Nature.
The US authors say immunity to the H2N2 flu strain is very low in people under the age of 50.
But a safe vaccine already exists after an H2N2 outbreak in the 1950s and '60s.
They say that vaccinating now could save billions of dollars if a pandemic does develop.
Dr Gary Nabel and colleagues from the Vaccine Research Centre in the US say H2N2 has the ability to cause a pandemic in the same way that H1N1 did in 2009.
Between 1957 and 1968, the strain is thought to have caused up to 4 million deaths in a global outbreak, during which time a vaccine was developed.
When the pandemic was over the H2N2 vaccination programme was stopped in the late 1960s, although the virus is still present today among birds and swine.
Vulnerability of Youth
That means older people will have been vaccinated against the virus, but the relatively young will have missed out - what the authors call the vulnerability of youth.
Between 2003 and 2007 they examined levels of immunity to H2N2 among a small group of 90 people.
"Our study suggests that people under the age of 50 have little or no immunity, and resistance dramatically increases for those older than 50. This was also the case for the 2009 H1N1."
They argue that the vaccine developed in the 1950s would still work today and that governments should use this to develop a pre-emptive vaccination programme.
"One approach would be to manufacture the vaccine licensed in 1957 and immunise enough of the world's population to provide 'herd immunity' to the rest.
<---- no warm feelings toward this idea.
"This could be achieved by a 'one-time' campaign to immunise most of the adult population worldwide - for example, as part of standard seasonal flu vaccinations - accompanied by an ongoing programme to administer the vaccine to children."