Influenza Turistic: Scientists have created a flu vaccine that can fight against 20 strains

Scientists have created a super vaccine that can fight every known strain of influenza and uses the same technology used to inject Covid.

The experimental vaccine – which has not yet been tested in people – provided broad protection against 20 subtypes of influenza A and B in animal tests.

But Professor John Oxford, a virologist at Queen Mary University of London, said the new vaccine developed at the University of Pennsylvania represented a “huge breakthrough”.

In two shots, it uses mRNA technology pioneered during the pandemic in Covid vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

It works by providing instructions that teach cells to make replicas of the proteins that appear on all surfaces of the influenza virus.

This trains the body to remember how to recognize and fight any foreign invaders carrying this protein in the future.

The hope is that a universal vaccine will give people a baseline level of immunity that will reduce hospitalizations and deaths each year.

It will also take the guesswork out of developing annual shots months before flu season each year.

Currently, the vaccine is determined based on: which influenza viruses are making people sick before the next flu season; How far do these viruses spread? And how well the body is equipped to deal with those influenza viruses based on the previous season’s shot.

It comes amid the largest flu outbreak in the United States in more than a decade, sweeping hospitals and shutting down schools across the country.

The H3N2 strain is currently wreaking havoc and tends to affect the elderly and the very young more often.

To date, there is no vaccine for H3N2 infection.

Scientists have made some moves to begin developing a vaccine, but there is no consensus on mass production of one, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The vaccine contains the genetic coding instructions for the 20 known types of influenza. When injected into the body, the cells make replicas of the proteins seen in every type of flu. These trigger an immune response as the body makes and remembers antibodies for each subtype of influenza. The immune response can be triggered if the body becomes infected with the flu in the future

While the new vaccine could stop future influenza epidemics, it will not be a panacea, as it will reduce severe illness and death but will not completely prevent infection.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine only tested the vaccine in mice and rodents, but are designing human trials at the moment, and the first sets of data could come within the next six months.

The researchers found that vaccine-induced antibody levels remained unchanged for at least four months in the animals tested.

“I cannot stress enough the breakthrough of this paper,” said Professor Oxford.

He added that there is a “very good chance” that the vaccine jab will work in people.

He said that thousands of lives can be saved with a shot.

“The potential is huge, and I think sometimes we underestimate these great respiratory viruses.”

‘I’ve never seen anything like this’: Doctors warn America is running out of four children’s antibiotics and flu medicine as children bear the brunt of the ‘triple pandemic’

America is experiencing shortages of four key antibiotics and respiratory medications for children as seasonal bugs return with a bang after being suppressed during lockdowns.

Health officials have declared a shortage of amoxicillin, a vital antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as pneumonia, respiratory infections, and sore throats.

But doctors on the ground have also reported dwindling stocks of Augmentin — an antibiotic drug amoxicillin used alongside clavulanic acid — Tamiflu, the flu drug most often used in US hospitals, and albuterol, an inhaler for asthma and to relieve other lung symptoms.

Desperate parents have reported spending hours going from pharmacy to pharmacy to track down medicines for their children.

The reason for the shortage is high demand. Many children’s hospitals have already reached 100 percent capacity as rates of RSV and influenza — both deadly for children — are at their highest level in a decade at this time of year.

“The idea here is to get a vaccine that gives people a baseline level of immune memory for the diverse influenza strains, so that there is much less disease and death,” said study senior author Dr. Scott Hensley, a professor of microbiology at the university. When the next influenza pandemic occurs.

“We believe that this vaccine can significantly reduce the chances of severe influenza infection,” he added.

The new vaccine uses a piece of genetic code called mRNA, and gives instructions to cells that allow them to make exact copies of the so-called hemagglutinin proteins that appear on the surfaces of the influenza virus.

These trigger an immune response as the body makes and remembers antibodies to each influenza virus.

Current flu vaccines cannot do this, because they rely on a small physical piece of a weakened flu strain.

The vaccine is not expected to completely stop influenza infection, but it will reduce the chances of serious illness and death from new variants of the virus.

This means that people will be effectively immunized against 20 types of influenza at once.

Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid vaccines are both mRNA-based — a technology little used before it was brought into the mainstream during the pandemic.

“This is the first high-impact publication presenting a successful strategy for an mRNA-based ‘universal’ vaccine against influenza,” said Victor Jimenez Cid, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid.

He added, “This type of vaccine will prevent, in addition to seasonal influenza… new, emerging epidemic viruses.”

The study has been published in the journal Science.

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