Vaccines are successful in preventing pandemic flu and reducing the number hospitalizations, according to research published by UK researchers in the journal Vaccine. However, vaccine effectiveness can vary based on the age of the patient.

“We found that the vaccines produced against the swine flu pandemic in 2009 were very effective in both preventing influenza infection and reducing the chances of hospital admission due to flu,” said Jonathan Van Tam of the University of Nottingham Health Protection and Influenza Research Group.

“We recognize that it took five to six months for pandemic vaccines to be ready in large quantities; this was a separate problem. However, if we can speed up vaccine production times, we would have a very effective strategy to reduce the impact of a future flu pandemic,” Van Tam said.