In Pursuit of a Universal Flu Vaccine

In Pursuit of a Universal Flu Vaccine

In Pursuit of a Universal Flu Vaccine

Current vaccines, which require experts to pick the flu strains that they believe are going to circulate in a given year, are typically 40 to 70 percent effective in the USA, though in some years protection is as low as 20 percent.

Although the flu vaccine is not flawless and some people who get vaccinated may still get the flu, it's possible that the vaccination may make symptoms milder.

This year's flu vaccines contain the same H3N2 influenza strain as last year, the study authors said, so efficacy may suffer if that strain ends up in circulation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a year ago influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

With influenza season around the corner, the Five Hills Health Region is gearing up for it by opening its flu clinics as of October 23. "Herd immunity is when the vaccinated community protects those who aren't immunized", he said. You need a flu vaccination every year for two reasons.

Researchers are working to determine if a vaccine that targets the stalk of a protein that covers the flu virus will help harness a universal shot.

Excuse #2: I'm scared of needles.

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The flu can kill people, including healthy adults. At some point during the development of last year's vaccine, the egg-grown protein acquired a mutation that reduced its effectiveness in warding off the live virus. Flu shots can not give you flu illness.

Excuse #4: I hear the flu vaccine can be risky for children. Young children and pregnant women can suffer serious complications from the flu. "They seem surprised that they actually got the flu", she said.

Fact: Since the flu is a viral infection, it can't be treated with antibiotics.

Despite the usual barrage of seasonal warnings, fewer than 50 percent of Americans reported getting a flu shot previous year.

"Now is the best time - while the number of flu cases is still low - to get vaccinated".

The cost for flu shots is $20 for students and $30 for faculty and staff. Participants are reminded to bring their current UO ID card and their insurance card.

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