World Needs Universal Flu Vaccine To Prevent Repeat Of 1918 Pandemic

Scientific American: We Need a Universal Flu Vaccine before the Next Pandemic Strikes
Catharine I. Paules, medical officer in the Office of the Director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Anthony S. Fauci, director of NIAID

“…The remarkable capacity of influenza viruses to undergo antigenic drift or shift to overcome and escape human population immunity leaves us vulnerable to a public health disaster potentially as serious as the 1918 pandemic. To meet this global health challenge, scientists are working to develop ‘universal influenza vaccines’ — new types of inoculations that can provide protection not only against changing seasonal influenza viruses but also against the inevitable pandemic viruses that will emerge in the future. … The hurdles in the development of such vaccines are daunting. But we are optimistic that we can apply existing tools and experimental strategies to meet the challenge. As we note the centennial of the 1918 flu pandemic, let us remind ourselves of the importance of this line of research in preventing a repeat of one of the most disastrous events in the history of global health” (February 2018).