Will we ever find a cure for the flu? © Getty Images

Will we ever find a cure for the flu?

The seasonal flu vaccinations are produced to target a specific strain of influenza each year but a universal vaccine is much harder to develop.

Asked by: Anonymous

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Most of us have suffered from the flu virus at some point. Currently, a seasonal flu vaccination can be given that targets a specific ‘type’ of influenza. The problem with this is that every year the virus alters its shape, forming a new strain and making the previous season’s jab ineffective. Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the US are trying to overcome this by developing a ‘universal’ flu vaccine. It’s hoped that the vaccination, which is followed by a few booster jabs, will provide life-long immune protection. It works by targeting a part of the virus that doesn’t change its shape, providing broader protection against different flu strains.


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