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NIH deliberately infects patients with flu virus in hopes of better vaccine

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Researchers from the National Institute of Health are conducting a study using people who volunteer to become infected with the flu in hopes of coming up with a better vaccine, Medical Daily reported Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.

But volunteers aren’t just raising their hands for what they perceive as the greater good of society, they’re being compensated – and quite nicely at that. Paying $3,000 a pop, the NIH hasn’t had any trouble recruiting 100 volunteers for the rare live study.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a few thousand Americans die each year from the flu, but experts still claim that the vaccines are working.

“Vaccines are working, but we could do better,” study leader Matthew Memoli said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Yet experts admit that they don’t know why some of those who receive the flu vaccine still get sick.

“As mind-boggling as it is, we don’t know the answer to that,” Anthony Fauci, leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, also told the Associated Press. “We made some assumptions that we knew everything about flu.”

Volunteers will be infected with the H1N1 flu strain, the same strain responsible for the so-called 2009 pandemic and will be held at the research facility for nine days.

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