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Permanent flu vaccines to be developed by U.S. vaccination researchers

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By Philippine News Agency

U.S. researchers of vaccines and infectious diseases have reported progress on studying a vaccine that could prevent influenza permanently with a single injection.

PHOTO: Grabbed from Flickr | Manila Bulletin

PHOTO: Grabbed from Flickr | Manila Bulletin

“If we had an effective universal vaccine, it would take a huge dent out of health-care costs (and) disruption of work, school attendance and social activities,” said William Schaffner, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, this week.

“It could change the entire way we prevent influenza,” he added.

The scientists classified the two major types of seasonal flu viruses that can infect humans. A universal and permanent vaccine is designed to provoke antibodies against the common core of both types of flu viruses. Those seasonal vaccines only respond to the part that changes every year, which means the patients have to take shots every decade.

Animal tests of the prospective vaccines are just around the corner while tests in humans are promising in the near future, according to the researchers.

“It may no longer be a flight of fancy,” Schaffner said, “some very impressive scientific efforts are underway to make this real.”

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