We might just be years away from a vaccine that will offer us lifelong protection against flu. This is what researchers believe after having successfully tested the vaccine on animals. The conclusion has been drawn by two different US teams of experts who believe they might have cured the flu virus once and for all. This new breakthrough should bring enormous benefits should it be deemed good for humans.
It is also going to eliminate the current flu vaccine issue which basically entails that a new vaccine be given each year to patients so that it would mutate a part of the virus. So if we get a permanent solution to the problem, we can wave bye bye to the good old annual vaccine and cross it over from our to do list.
The studies were published in the Science journal and in Nature Medicine. But now human subjects are required to test the vaccine and make sure it will not have other implications that we are not yet aware of. While these test are being made, experts encourage people to continue with their annual flu vaccination as it is still the most effective way to counter the virus.
You might be wondering how this all works, so let us break the process down for you. The flu virus has a large set of molecules on its surface, which the current flu vaccination targets. Over time, these molecules change, but the core of the virus always remains the same. It’s like our planet, really. The surface is ever changing, but the core stays the same.
Right now, the scientists are not trying to focus on the surface anymore, but the core itself. While many teams have been testing more and more candidates for the vaccine, it was always difficult to create a vaccine that would not involve “the surface”.
But things are different now. It’s not every day that a flu expert form the University of London, namely Professor John Oxford, declares such results as a “red letter day” for science. If scientists around the world are looking forward to this event, there is clearly something positive going on.
But as good as this may sound, we are still very far away from applying the vaccine. As mentioned before, tests still need to be conducted on humans to establish whether it is safe or not. But if the vaccine is going to be approved, it will change medicine’s approach to flu and it will make humanity live a lot healthier.
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