New flu vaccine kills all strains

February 8th, 2011 - 8:26 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

New York, Feb 8 (THAINDIAN NEWS) For many years, the flu vaccines we had were ‘flu strain-specific.’ In other words, there was a flu vaccine for each and every type of flu, and to gain protection from all types of flu, you would have to get as many jabs as the flu strains.

However in a scientific breakthrough, researchers at UK’s Oxford University have come up with what is now termed as a universal flu vaccine. This will be a jab that, when taken, protects the person taking it from all types of flu!

Besides its universality, its working mechanism is remarkable too: this being a flu vaccine which targets the more stable parts of the flu viruses’ bodies, rather than the parts of the flu viruses’ bodies that keep on mutating. That becomes remarkable when you appreciate the fact that the greatest weakness with the flu vaccines we have always had was in the fact that they targeted parts of the flu viruses that were liable to mutation. It is a situation which often saw flu vaccines become ‘obsolete’ even before they left the labs. But all that is bound to become history, if the new flu vaccine, which kills all strains of flu, gains widespread usage.

It will, of course, take a few years before the flu vaccine is available in chemists – as it is yet to undergo large-scale human trials and the (typically long-drawn) licensing process. But it is definitely something worth waiting for. All we can say? Watch this space.

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