New investigations show that a long-lasting flu vaccine could be possible sooner than later. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the idea of having this vaccine is no longer elusive for the scientific community.

It is clear that the most annoying thing regarding flu vaccination has to do with the fact that people must do it every year. Because of this reason, most people simply don’t do it and become expose. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), 2 of every 5 Americans are not vaccinated in the current flu season.

According to the CDC, 2 of every 5 Americans are not vaccinated in the current flu season. Photo credit:
According to the CDC, 2 of every 5 Americans are not vaccinated in the current flu season. Photo credit:

William Shaffner,  professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University and medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, states that the developing of this vaccine could mean a huge step forward in the public health service field.

“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. It could change the entire way we prevent influenza,” says Shaffner.

The director of the NIAID, Barney Graham, says that because scientists are working with molecular technology, that allows investigations teams to develop certain things at “atomic resolutions” and could facilitate the creation of the medicine.

The objective of the research groups is to make a vaccine that could either last an entire lifetime or one that is needed every five or ten years.

A long-lasting flu vaccine is a need for the whole world

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), every year there are from 3 to 5 million cases of dangerous diseases that are the product of seasonal flu epidemics. Of those cases, about 500,000 are fatal, the WHO reports.

According to Michael Osterholm, a professor of public health and the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, the developing of this vaccine it would, by far, the most important thing that the scientific community could do to enhance public and global health. This vaccine would translate into a worldwide protection against deadly pandemics.

Several types of vaccines are being tested. In one of them, the investigation team hopes to identify the constant part of the virus to attack it directly and make a vaccine that functions every time. Another team is recreating a virus using DNA methods in a lab, and another one is developing a multiyear vaccine.

This last investigation group, that is creating the multiyear choice, thinks that is impossible to present a vaccine that doesn’t have any upgrade through the years, so they assume they will have to submit a new one every five or ten years. In any case, it represents an improvement as the current medical practice consists on annual vaccination, and the numbers of the CDC don’t lie when they show how that fact affects on people avoiding the medicine.

Source: The Mercury News