Wouldn’t it be all kinds of brilliant if there was a vaccine that protected you from all kinds of flu? You wouldn’t need to constantly get vaccinated or keep a tab of the vaccinations done and pending. If you’ve dreaming for such a thing to happen, here’s some good news – your dream may be coming true!
The National Institutes of Health is currently on a endeavour to develop a vaccine that will be able to provide long-term immunity from all kinds of flu there are.
If this is true, it would be helping a whole lot of people. 2018 saw upt 36 million people to have gotten the flu, 50,000 hospitalised because of it and 44,800 deaths because of flu. This was reported by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The National Institute of Health is currently looking to see if one vaccine is capable of guarding against all strains of the flu virus. The first universal influenza vaccine is being tested on people at NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland right now, announced the NIH.
“The hope is that [the vaccine] will target more strains, and if we’re really lucky, most or all strains. This is important because the current vaccine is a best-guess version in anticipation of the coming flu season, which often leads to a vaccine that does not cover all strains that actually materialize,” said Dr. David Mushatt, an infectious disease specialist and section chief of infectious diseases at Tulane University.
Here’s how the research team is testing the vaccine.
The first trial aims to evaluate the vaccine’s safety and tolerrance along with its ability to trigger an immune response in the body.The research team plans to recruit 53 healthy adults between the age of 18 and 70 years. These participants will be injected with the experimental vaccine. The participants will be divided in two groups. The first group will receive a one, lower-dose injection. The second group will be broken into subgroups based on age – they will receive two higher-dose injections that would be spaced 16 weeks apart.
The research team will then monitor the participants over the next 12-15 months and evaluate how their bodies respond to the vaccine. The team things that this will help them understand how age anf previous exposure to different influenza strains may or may not have an influence on the participants immune responses to the experimental vaccine.
When asked about the difference between the experimental vaccine and the one available, Dr Richard Rupp, professor of pediatric and director of the Sealy Institute for Vaccine Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch said, “The reason someone comes down with the flu is that their immune system doesn’t recognize the HA. The flu strains that circulate each season are the ones that people’s immune systems don’t recognize,”
However despite all these efforts, the vaccine may not eradicating it completely. “It likely won’t target all strains, but it could target a higher number of strains and variants, and therefore be more broadly protective against the different flu strains,” Mulligan explained.
While this won’t eradicate the flu, health experts hope the new vaccine will provide longer-lasting protection against most types of the flu.