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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 14:16 GMT
Flu vaccines
A child receiving a vaccination
Would parents allow child flu jabs if it reduced deaths in others?
Medical researchers say they have evidence that we would save more elderly people from premature death because of flu, if we vaccinated children.

By some estimates, 12,500 elderly people die from flu in the UK each year.

But how can vaccinating children help protect the elderly?

BBC Radio 4's More or Less was broadcast on Thursday, 20 January at 1500 GMT

This week, More or Less examined the statistical evidence for the harm caused by flu and the potentially explosive argument for giving children a new jab for flu every year.


Also in the programme this week, we look at developing world debt.

Following Gordon Brown's visit to Africa recently and the many calls for debt cancellation for countries affected by the East Asian tsunami, who would dare to claim to lending to developing nations is a good thing?

Surely debt is bad and the biggest debts of the developing world worst of all?

We speak to someone who argues that lending, rather than giving, is still sometimes the best policy.

Cost of dying

Plus, how to die with least cost to the economy.

It is sometimes argued that unhealthy lifestyles cost the state more than those of us who live long and healthily.

But do they?

We take a look at the costs and benefits of different ways to go and, to take one example, examine recent work to identify the costs of smoking.

And there is the second part of our guide to averages which this week looks at the story of Stephen Jay Gould who was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. A disease with a median life expectancy of eight months.

Did he despair at that average?

More or Less was broadcast on Thursday, 20 January, 2005 at 1500GMT on BBC Radio 4.

Producer: Michael Blastland
Editor: Nicola Meyrick

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