Flu jabs are a "waste of taxpayer"s money", claim scientists who the benefits have been over-hyped

Flu jabs are a 'waste of taxpayers' money', claim scientists who say the benefits have been over-hyped<br> University of Minnesota report says benefits – especially for older people – have been over-promoted <br>New vaccine pipeline hindered as a result <br>But experts still recommend current vaccination 'as it's the best we have' <p> | <strong>UPDATED:</strong> 18:57 GMT, 22 November 2012 </p> <br><p>The benefits of the annual flu jab have been &#8216;over-hyped&#8217;, scientists claim.</p><p>They say the vaccine is far less effective than is widely believed, with some studies showing it protects less than two-thirds of the population.</p><p>The US researchers say ministers in Britain as well as America are &#8216;wasting taxpayers&#8217; money&#8217; on the jab.</p><p>And they claim that because the benefits have been so &#8216;over-promoted&#8217;, scientists have been deterred from inventing vaccines that would be far more effective.<br></p> <img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/11/21/article-2236253-16257656000005DC-198_468x286.jpg" width="468" height="286" alt="Flu jabs are a waste of taxpayer's money due to the protective effects of the vaccine being over-hyped, it has been claimed" class="blkBorder" /> <p class="imageCaption">Flu jabs are a waste of taxpayer's money due to the protective effects of the vaccine being over-hyped, it has been claimed</p> TODAY'S POLL <p>Is the flu jab a waste of taxpayers' money</p> Yes No VOTE <img src="http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix//2012/11/22/article-999-16257656000005DC-830_108x76.jpg" width="108" height="76" alt="Flu Jab" /> POLL RESULTS Close All polls Click to view yesterday's poll results DM.has("rcp", "poll", { pollId: '1033334', channelId: '1', questionId: '' }); <p>But the Department of Health has insisted the flu jabs &#8216;save lives&#8217; and urged the elderly and patients with long-term conditions to come forward for their vaccinations.</p> <p>Researchers from the University of Minnesota looked at 12,000 studies on the effectiveness and safety of the flu jab, going back to the 1930s.