A universal flu vaccine identified

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Context:

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

Hemagglutinin:

  • The candidate vaccine elicited a strong antibody response to a structure on the surface of flu viruses, called the hemagglutinin (HA) stalk
  • 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

Current usage of vaccines

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

Source:TH