February 21, 2018

Universal Flu Vaccine In The Works

08 November 2017, 12:13 | Rodolfo Wallace

Every year no one is immune from influenza despite annual vaccines. Max Mumby Indigo Getty Images

Every year no one is immune from influenza despite annual vaccines

Only four in 10 health-care workers at York Region hospitals got their flu shot previous year, according to the region's public health department.

"The good news is that it's much more hard to drive mutations in the stalk, but it's not impossible", says David J. Topham, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and author of the study in Scientific Reports. One difference stood out - Ineffectiveness was not seen in flu vaccines manufactured without the use of chicken eggs in the process. However, government health officials have been concerned with the degree of the ineffectiveness of flu vaccines manufactured every year for the following year's flu season. Seasonal flu shots will be available to UO students, faculty and staff on November 9 and 16, from 8 to11 the health center. The mice protected with the new vaccine survived exposure to "lethal doses of seven of nine widely divergent influenza viruses". Current vaccines, which require experts to pick the flu strains that they believe are going to circulate in a given year, are typically 40 to 70 percent effective in the US, though in some years protection is as low as 20 percent.

Other strategies that researchers are investigating to make a universal flu shot include developing vaccines that target the stem of the protein, which tends to change less from season to season, rather than the head.

A nurse vaccinates U.S. President Barack Obama against the H1N1 flu at the White House in 2009. A unit of Australia's CSL, the company is using a massive former Novartis plant in North Carolina for its cell-based flu vaccine production. The eggs are then allowed to incubate, and in turn, this allows the virus to replicate. The molecule is a type of sugar, hence the reason it's being called a glycosylation site.

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Flu vaccines work by priming the immune system with purified proteins from the outer layer of killed flu viruses.

"To put this in other terms, our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively", Weaver said.

It takes two weeks for the vaccine to take effect.

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