Dutch scientists have launched a controversial debate about the flu jab in an opinion piece titled "Yearly influenza vaccinations: a double-edged sword?" published October 30, 2009 in the British medical journal, The Lancet Infectious Diseases. They suggested that children should not be given the flu vaccine so that they might develop , which should protect them from swine and bird flu. They expressed their concern that "preventing infection with seasonal influenza viruses by vaccination might prevent the induction of heterosubtypic immunity to pandemic strains, which might be a disadvantage to immunologically naive people—eg, infants."
Though other health officials disagree with this natural immunity theory, data from the 1957 pandemic showed that those infected with seasonal flu were less likely to contract the pandemic virus, which has also shown to be true in animal studies.
In the published piece, the Dutch scientists suggested health authorities should reevaluate their recommendation that healthy children between six months and five years old get the flu vaccine. Regardless, the NY Times reported that the World Health Organization remains adamant that the vaccine should be given and says their flu vaccine recommendations will remain the same.