News Is anybody out there? Justin Bieber's Believe is 14th at the US box office

The controversial pop star is also facing charges of driving under the influence in Florida and is under investigation for vandalism in LA

A vaccination is administered to a young child

Scientists urge ministers: tell truth on 'over-hyped' flu vaccine

The flu vaccine given to millions of people each year in Britain is “over-promoted” and “over-hyped” and the protection it offers against the seasonal illness has been exaggerated, scientists claim.

Government's position on flu vaccine risks undermining public trust like MMR scandal

Vaccination rates plunged after the alleged link between MMR and autism

Governments must be deadly serious regarding what they tell us

Vaccination is the single greatest success story of 20th-century medicine. It has saved millions of lives around the world – including from smallpox, polio, diphtheria, typhoid, tetanus, measles and flu.

Editorial: An imperfect jab – but worth taking

The influenza virus is a protean beast, its multiple strains mutating at lightning speed and giving each succeeding winter a different pathogenic complexion. To keep up, scientists spend the summer studying illness patterns in the southern hemisphere as a guide to what is to come – and developing that year's flu vaccine accordingly.

Boom in urban chicken-keepers may be harmful to birds

Urban chicken-keepers risk spreading diseases through their lack of knowledge of animal welfare regulations, research by the Royal Veterinary College has found.

The Vaccines, Alexandra Palace, London

Tonight frontman Justin Young seemed to want to signify how far he has come from his clean-cut former incarnation JJ Pistolet by growing his hair and beard out to caveman-like shaggyness.

The meningitis bacterium lives harmlessly in the noses and throats of one in 10 people

Green light for vital meningitis vaccine that could save the lives of countless children

Hundreds of children’s lives will be saved - if the NHS can afford to give new jab to babies

Alan Glynn, 32, from Perth, lost his 19-month-old daughter Alexis Rose in February 2011. Her sister, Christina, survived the same disease

Meningitis case study: "We thought it was just a sickness bug"

Alan Glynn, 32, from Perth, lost his 19-month-old daughter Alexis Rose in February 2011.

What is meningitis?

The meningitis bacterium lives harmlessly in the noses and throats of one in 10 people but,  for reasons that are not fully understood, can erupt into a  life-threatening illness  that causes inflammation of the membrane  around the brain – the “meninges” – and can lead to death within hours.

Errors and Omissions: When words acquire new meanings, it's best not to stand in the way

Our peerless pedant reviews this week's Independent

A child in Pakistan is given the polio vaccination

Polio cases slowing in Pakistan spur hope for global elimination

Polio cases caused by one of two circulating strains of poliomyelitis virus weren't reported in Pakistan in six months, speeding global eradication of the crippling disease.

Babies to be routinely offered rotavirus vaccine from next September

A vaccine against a bug that causes diarrhoea in hundreds of thousands of  babies each year is to be introduced from next September, the Department of Health has announced.

Fewer pensioners and at-risk patients are receiving the flu jab than last year

With winter fast approaching, many people who risk becoming seriously ill if they get the flu have not yet been vaccinated against it.

Babyjabs.co.uk warned over advertising prescription-only medicines to public

A parenting website has been warned about advertising prescription-only medicines to the public just months after it was ordered to remove discredited claims that the MMR vaccine is linked to autism.

Whooping cough outbreak claims life of 10th baby

The number of babies who have died in the biggest outbreak of whooping cough in England and Wales for 20 years has risen to 10, health officials say.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links