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
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.