As it is, government health bodies present the annual flu vaccine as something that every elderly person should have - and yet there is virtually no evidence to support this stridently optimistic approach.
The Cochrane Vaccines Field group first alerted doctors to the ineffectiveness of the standard flu jab when it discovered that it failed to prevent deaths from flu or pneumonia.
Despite this, governments have continued to spend millions of pounds and dollars on an ineffective vaccine, and have misled the public.
The only way of resolving the issue once and for all is to carry out proper trials among the elderly - and that's something nobody will be prepared to do, the researchers fear.
(Source: The Lancet, 2007; 370: 1199-1200).