Universal Flu Vaccine Becoming A Reality

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Referring to a recent study published in journal Science, CNN writes that researchers are hopeful that a universal influenza (flu) vaccine against all 20 known influenza A and B virus strains is making progress. Such an multivalent vaccines are help our body to recognize these viruses, and helping prevent severe illness and death from such viruses, CNN writes.

According CNN, these preliminary vaccines are being tested in animals (mice and ferrets), and early results are promising. According to researchers, they working through the process of making the vaccine to human quality standards and aim to try it in people in 2023. “They’re hopeful that, if those tests succeed, the vaccine could protect people in the event of another pandemic strain of flu”, CNN writes.

According to CNN:

  • “The researchers are relying on the same mRNA technology that’s used in Covid-19 vaccines, to make the flu vaccines.
  • “In the quest for a universal flu vaccine, scientists have been carefully studying flu viruses, looking for structural regions that are similar among strains.
  • “The thinking was that if they could find one or two areas that don’t change much from strain to strain, they could train the immune system to make antibodies against these regions and protect people from many viruses at the same time.

According to Scott Hensley, senior author of the new study and a microbiologist at the Penn Institute for Immunology, they have found “these vaccines elicit very high levels of antibodies against all 20 subtypes. And we found that the antibodies react to both the globular head the very top of HA as well as the hemagglutinin stalk, which is a little bit lower down.”