Universal flu vaccine will be tested

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The University of Oxford has already announced the start of testing for the existence of a vaccine with a universal effect against influenza.

Tests of a new seasonal vaccine against all types of flu are already under way in more than 500 British volunteers, a total of two thousand people, this week announced the University of Oxford, these will be held throughout the current year of 2017 as well as in 2018.

This now tested vaccine was developed by the Jenner Institute, linked to the English University of Oxford, and by a biotechnology company its subsidiary. This is based on proteins taken from the nucleus of the virus, instead of its surface, as it is today. But the relevance of the method is that the core proteins remain stable, while those on the surface undergo successive mutations.

The new vaccine will stimulate the creation of T cells, more effective in fighting the virus, instead of the usual antibodies.

Vaccines on the market have to be updated every year in order to include the predominant virus in the period concerned, but their effectiveness is relative, particularly for older people or for those with weaker immune systems.

The flu vaccine is relatively safe, it is true that it does not protect at all, however, it prevents the flu or at least greatly attenuates its symptoms. Adverse reactions are localized and transient, such as pain, redness and slight swelling at the site of the bite.

This is the first time that a vaccine of effects considered to be universal goes beyond the first phase of tests, and its effect is expected to last “for three or four years”, Vaccitech director Tom Evans, the subsidiary company of the Jenner Institute.

However, there is a warning that, in addition to vaccination, it is also essential that
you take some steps to keep you away from the flu virus. You should, for example, strengthen hand hygiene by washing them more often throughout the day as well as being coughing or sneezing into a disposable tissue or toward your elbow.

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