Researchers from Duke University are developing a flu shot with the new technology that was used for two coronavirus vaccines.
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna shots use part of the virus’s genetic code called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to get the body to recognize the pathogen and attack if a person becomes infected.
What’s more, people will be able to get the new shot every four or five years rather than annually.
‘We actually just completed in the past two weeks the manufacture of a messenger RNA vaccine for influenza that should have broad reactivity across many different strains to make a universal flu vaccine,’ Dr Barton Haynes, director for the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, told Nexstar.
To make flu vaccines, officials from the World Health Organization choose the strains for the Northern Hemisphere’s shot in February, and those for the Southern Hemisphere in September or October.
The flu vaccine comes in the form of a shot or a nasal spray. For those who choose to go with the injectable, there are two options.
The first is a trivalent vaccine, which protects against two influenza A strains, H1N1 and H3N2, and one influenza B strain.
The second option, the quadrivalent flu vaccine, protects against the same strains as the trivalent vaccine, as well as an extra influenza B virus.
For those with egg allergies or who prefer not to have a shot, there is a nasal spray, known as FluMist.
It uses live, weakened viruses which are meant to teach the body to recognize and ward off flu strains if you become infected.
Haynes told Nexstar that, rather than guessing which strains will be prevalent during the season, the new vaccine will be able to target all strains.
Image Credit: Daily Mail
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