New vaccine promises life time protection against flu, says research

Goldstream Gazette file
Goldstream Gazette file

08 November, 2017

Typically, it takes up to two weeks to get full protection from the flu shot.

However, doctors continue to emphasize the importance of getting a flu shot.

A nurse vaccinates U.S. President Barack Obama against the H1N1 flu at the White House in 2009.

Apart from the above target, researchers are using different strategies to create a global flu shot vaccine that could target the stem of the protein which has got less chance of changing seasonally.

Why the flu vaccine may not be as effective as we believe Of course, we know that flu viruses mutate, and we have seen examples of this happening, especially in bird flu viruses.

The flu can kill people, including healthy adults.

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"Even influenza vaccine manufacturers are recognizing that, over time, the egg-based production process will become obsolete and will be replaced with a more modern production process", she said.

Unfortunately, the vaccine people are now getting covers the same flu strain. However, Dr. Vooght explains that the Australia flu situation was severe because it had a mismatch between the vaccine and the virus strain. "And it's important that they don't spread the virus to their family and the community". For example they may have got a food vaccine and got sick anyway.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that past year influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations. The shot stimulates immunity against a protein called hemagglutinin, which extends from the surface of the flu virus.

Experts worry it could be a hard season if H3N2 dominates.

"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. However, antibodies elicited in ferrets infected with the current circulating H3N2 viral strain (that contains the new protein) and humans vaccinated with a H3N2 vaccine produced in a non-egg system were able to effectively recognize and neutralize the new H3N2 virus.

Flu vaccines aim to protect us by priming our immune systems.

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