Is a Long-Term Universal Flu Shot Likely?

Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:45 AM

Pretty soon you may not need that yearly flu shot to protect yourself from the nasty respiratory virus that kills and hospitalizes thousands annually.

Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, says he is “guardedly optimistic” that a long-term universal vaccine that would protect people from all flu strains could be developed in the next five years.

Parts of the virus vary year to year, making the annual development of a new vaccine necessary. But Collins tells the editorial board of USA Today that "there are parts of the viral coat that don't change … If you designed a vaccine to go after the constant part of the virus, you'd be protected against all strains."

Scientists around the globe are working to combat influenza, which is one of the top causes of preventable death in the United States, the paper reports.

In the interview, Collins also mentions advances being made in Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and HIV.

To read the complete USA Today story, Go Here Now.

© HealthDay

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Thursday, 28 July 2011 08:45 AM
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