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First Universal Flu Vaccine to be Tested

04-10-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

First Universal Flu Vaccine to be Tested | My Indian Dream

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New vaccine to be more effective against virus

Researchers at Oxford will be testing a seasonal flu vaccine that would be the first in the world. The clinical trial will span two years and involve more than 2000 patients. Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Vaccitech have developed this so-called universal vaccine.

The existing flu vaccines have to be changed each year to match strains of virus circulating at the time. They are not found to be very effective in all cases, especially in older patients with weak immune systems.

Researchers developed the new vaccine by using proteins found in the core of the virus rather than those on its surface. Surface proteins stick out like pins from the virus and change all the time, while those in the core are found to be stable.

What makes this vaccine universal is its ability to stimulate the immune system to boost virus-killing T-cells which can help fight more than one type of flu virus. Researchers hope the new vaccine will provide better and longer-lasting protection when used alongside the regular seasonal flu shot.

The new vaccine has already cleared the initial safety rials. Now, it has advanced to Phase IIb testing.It is the first time a universal flu vaccine has progressed beyond Phase I clinical testing

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