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By Philip Ball   December 2009

Fears have been voiced that the new swine flu vaccine may cause Guillan-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis or even death. However, as New Scientist reports, flu itself can induce it too, and with a somewhat higher probability (though we’re talking tiny numbers here). Any mass-vaccination programme is bound to bring rare side effects to light: one-in-100,000 reactions will produce dozens of cases when millions take it. Remember, this is not a totally new vaccine; it’s just a modified form of the seasonal flu jab.

There has been years of talk of an HIV vaccine, but only now do…

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