Tags: Cold/Flu | flu | nasal | spray | vaccine | johns | hopkins

Johns Hopkins Scientists Devise Better Flu Nasal Spray Vaccine

By    |   Monday, 10 August 2015 12:40 PM

Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a nasal spray flu vaccine that effective for those under two and over 49 — two groups for which the vaccine is not approved.

The scientists said the new vaccine is based their research that determined that the virus can be weakened (for young children) or strengthened (in older people) enough to create an appropriate immune response in people of all ages, Medical Xpress reports.

"We think we can use our molecular, rational design approaches to make a better flu vaccine for people who really need it," said Andrew Pekosz, who headed the research, published online in the journal Vaccine. "We can do it in a sophisticated and accurate way, not in a blind manner, which is how these vaccines are usually developed."

Pekosz noted existing flu vaccines are less effective in people as they age and those over the age of 60 are more likely to get the flu and more likely to suffer complications.

"We don't have a really good effective vaccine in the elderly," Pekosz said. "Even the injectable version doesn't work as well in that population. And they're the ones who need it the most. We hope our research can get us closer to having effective flu vaccines for any age."

Children ages six months to two years can receive an injectable flu vaccine, but the nasal spray vaccine is recommended because it is believed to give better protection than the shot.

Pekosz said his team is currently collaborating with MedImmune, the makers of the FluMist, to help develop a better vaccine based on these findings.

A new vaccine to test could be available within six to 12 months, he said.

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A new flu vaccine is effective for those under two and over 49 - two groups for which the vaccine is not approved.
flu, nasal, spray, vaccine, johns, hopkins
Monday, 10 August 2015 12:40 PM
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