Hide This

FREEHER HealthToolkit

HER Health Toolkit

Sign up for EmpowHER updates and you'll receive our
FREE HER Health Toolkit

Flu

Get Email Updates

Flu Guide

Alison Beaver

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Universal Flu Vaccination in the Works

By Susan Cody HERWriter Guide
 
Rate This
Universal Flu Vaccination in the Works 0 5
Flu related image
Wolfe Larry/PhotoSpin

Your kids' schools or your health care provider may be asking you about now if you'd like to take the flu vaccine for the upcoming 2013-2014 winter season. Maybe you are worried about side effects or whether it will actually work.

Last year I got the flu vaccination (via the mist that's supposed to be slightly more effective than the shot) for the first time in seven years. And lo and behold, I got influenza, then got it again, causing me to be either bed-ridden or in recovery for a total of six weeks.

The last time I got it seven years ago saw the flu hit me hard too. It must have been a strain that wasn't covered in my vaccination, I was told.

So I wondered why get it in the first place, since there are so many strains out there and only a few are covered in the vaccination.

But now some news has emerged that may give unlucky people like me some hope. CBSNews reports that a universal flu vaccine may come within the next five years, that researchers hope will protect against all strains of influenza.

With new strains emerging on a frequent basis, this could be the one shot that will prevent pandemics such as that of 2009. And it's due to that particular year that scientists have found something in the antibodies of those who were not afflicted with the flu in 2009.

Along with his colleagues, Professor Ajit Lalvani, chair of infectious diseases at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, took blood samples of several hundred volunteers during that "swine flu" time where more than 18,000 died that year from the virus.

Those who felt ill were swabbed and checked to see if they had contracted flu and those who had no symptoms were also checked. The latter group were found to have cells called CD8 T cells that are capable of fighting off strains of flu that others cannot.

Researchers want to take those cells and add them into a universal vaccine, believing this will boost everybody's immune system and keep the flu at bay. But Professor Lalvani has reported that more research, testing and approval will cause the vaccination to be about five years away.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Improved

1626 Health

Changed

603 Lives

Saved

453 Lives
3 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Are you getting, or have you had a flu shot this year?:
View Results