A New Push for a Universal Flu Vaccine
If all goes according to plan, the annual flu shot protects about 60 percent of vaccinated people. This year’s inoculation, of course, fell far short of such expectations, safeguarding only one in four vaccinated people who encountered the dominant H3N2 strain. This shortfall injected further momentum into the push to create a universal vaccine that protects against many flu types over time.
Last month Bill Gates announced his foundation will be earmarking up to $12 million to advance such work. Sen. Edward Markey (D–Mass.) introduced a bill in February that would provide $1 billion in government funding for a universal flu vaccine. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) called such research a priority and unveiled a strategic plan for it. The White House also gave a nod to the universal flu vaccine; its Office of Science and Technology Policy tweeted in March it is “closer than ever.” Yet the road ahead is littered with obstacles.
Source: Scientific American