The Atlantic Examines Search For Universal Flu Vaccine

“The sudden outbreak [in 2009 of H1N1] drove home the realization that the world needs vaccines that are more effective and faster to make — not just to reduce the 250,000 to 500,000 deaths from seasonal flu that occur every year but also to prepare for the arrival of new, deadly pandemics,” The Atlantic reports in an article examining how, “[i]n the four years since the 2009 pandemic, researchers have been searching furiously for a better answer.” The magazine continues, “Most scientists call it a universal flu vaccine, because it would protect people against many flu strains, including ones that have yet to evolve. This universal vaccine could ultimately put an end to the annual ritual of getting a flu shot: each jab might protect for years or even a lifetime.” The Atlantic discusses flu vaccine research, how influenza viruses change, and the prospect for a universal vaccine (Zimmer, 11/20).

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