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universal flu vaccine

Universal flu vaccine

Scientists have identified a potential universal influenza vaccine that could protect people against most strains of the virus.

The candidate vaccine, described in the journal Nature Communications, elicited a strong antibody response to a structure on the surface of flu viruses, called the hemagglutinin (HA) stalk.

It protected mice from infection by various flu strains, researchers said.
It has the potential to be developed into a universal flu vaccine, which — unlike the current seasonal flu vaccines — could be given a few times over a lifetime to provide protection potentially similar to a tetanus vaccine

Modern viral vaccines typically use lab-grown viral proteins to elicit an immune response that protects people against future exposures to a virus. On the whole, this approach has not worked well against influenza viruses. Seasonal flu vaccines provide incomplete and temporary protection against the flu. This is why they need to be updated every year.

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