New Finding Advances the Search for a Universal Flu Vaccine
The quest for a universal flu vaccine, one that provides long-lasting protection from multiple types of influenza, even those that might cause a pandemic, has moved a step closer.
For the first time, scientists have shown that targeting a specific portion of the flu virus that varies relatively little from strain to strain offers protection in humans. The study was published in the June 3 issue of Nature Medicine.
“If you have a universal flu vaccine you would take off the table the need to have to vaccinate persons every single year, and change the vaccine every year,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Each year in the U.S., seasonal influenza, or flu, kills more than 36,000 people and hospitalizes 200,000 more. Worldwide, influenza causes 650,000 deaths annually.
Source: Scientific American