A flu vaccine that is effective against all flu viruses and could provide long-lasting protection from the flu is getting closer to being a reality, according to an ABC News report.
Peter Palese, MD, chair of the department of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine/Mount Sinai, in New York City, where the vaccine is being developed, says that the new vaccine would offer broader, better, and longer-lasting protection against seasonal influenza viruses.
“It could potentially protect someone for a whole lifetime,” he added.
Dr. Palese said the universal vaccine will go into clinical trials later this year.
So far no one has been able to develop a vaccine that works against every type of flu, but that might soon change. This year’s flu vaccine was not well matched to the dominant strain of the virus currently circulating, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that widespread flu activity in at least 43 states is at epidemic levels. So far this season 26 children have died from flu complications. The vaccine used this year is only 33 percent effective because the virus mutated after the vaccine had already been manufactured.