News » Science & Technology
Scientists have developed an experimental universal flu vaccine. It provides protection against all 20 known influenza A and B virus subtypes, Reuters reports.
The drug is being tested on mice and ferrets. The development could help prevent future pandemics. The two-dose vaccine uses the same messenger RNA technology as the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
“The idea is to create a vaccine that will give people a basic level of immune memory to different flu strains so that the next flu pandemic will have far fewer illnesses and deaths,” said study leader Scott Hensley of the Perelman School.
Unlike standard flu vaccines, which deliver one or two variants hemagglutinin, the experimental vaccine includes 20 different types in hopes of making the immune system recognize any influenza virus it may encounter in the future.
In laboratory experiments, the immune system of vaccinated animals protected against 18 different strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B. According to the researchers, the vaccine reduced signs of illness and protected against death, even when ferrets were exposed to a different type of flu that is not in the vaccine.
The universal flu vaccine, if successful in human trials, may not prevent infection. According to Hensley, the goal is to provide strong protection against serious illness and death.
Follow us on Telegram