You May Also Like

Why national parks are increasing entrance fees

More than 100 national parks are bumping up their entry fees this spring

Is it bad to eat before a workout?

Does a pre-workout meal help or hinder your fitness goals?

WOW Air will pay two friends to travel the world

This dream summer job pays you to live in Iceland *and* travel the world with your BFF

7 definitive personality traits of a Taurus

7 traits common to the strong-minded Taurus in your life

How to budget for summer expenses

3 simple tips for budgeting for all your big summer expenses

insomnia

How to trick yourself into avoiding the health pitfalls of insomnia

See ya, sniffles: We might have a universal flu vaccine on our hands


Thumbnail for See ya, sniffles: We might have a universal flu vaccine on our hands
Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Yuko Hirao

How nice would it be to ditch yearly flu shots for a universal vaccine that would offer lifelong protection against the ailment, à la polio or the measles? Researchers at the Nebraska Center for Virology are working on just that—and the finished product is coming sooner than you might think.

As of right now, the team’s new four-in-one vaccine has only been tested on mice, but it has offered a high level of protection. By combining centralized ancestral genes from four major strains of influenza, researchers were able to keep the mice alive (and not even a little bit sick) despite exposure to lethal doses of a handful of viruses—something the traditional flu shots and nasal sprays couldn’t do.

“Our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively. There is no doubt that we need more effective vaccines.” —Eric Weaver, lead researcher

According to a press release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 40 million Americans came down with the flu during the 2015 to 2016 season with 970,000 hospitalizations—and shots prevented a 1.9 million illnesses and 67,000 hospitalizations. With so many sick people, researchers know a better option is a must; it’s just going to take some time to get there.

“Our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively,” said lead researcher Eric Weaver, an assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in the release. “There is no doubt that there is a need for more effective vaccine technologies.”

So when will there be a universal flu vaccine available for humans? Experts say it could come as early as 2020 or 2025. (Since the virus mutates so quickly, it’s tough to create a long-term solution.) But Weaver says “the ultimate goal is to be able to vaccinate once and provide lifelong protection.” Sounds like your tissue bill might be lower in just a few years.

Here’s how to make an immune-boosting ACV shot, just in time for flu season. And while you’re at it, try these inflammation-fighting drinks, too.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Why national parks are increasing entrance fees

More than 100 national parks are bumping up their entry fees this spring

WOW Air will pay two friends to travel the world

This dream summer job pays you to live in Iceland *and* travel the world with your BFF

Kate Middleton gives birth to third baby, a boy

Kate Middleton just gave birth to a little prince—and he’s already making history

Lauren Singer opens second zero-waste pop-up

Zero-waste guru Lauren Singer just opened a second trash-free shop in Brooklyn

Job interview tips for mindfulness

How to keep your cool during a job interview (hint: manifest success!)

The FDA will likely approve a CBD medication

The FDA will likely approve the first CBD prescription medication in the United States