The thing about the flu is that there’s a lot of different strains. One flu season is different from the other and each one requires a new shot. That could change! Doctors believe we’ll develop a universal vaccine soon enough.
Specifically, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, believes that in the next five years, there’ll be a long term flu vaccine that can act as an umbrella solution for that pesky seasonal sickness. Collins told USA Today that a universal flu vaccine was far-fetched only a few years ago because the virus mutated every year (with changes in its surface coating) making that specific vaccine obsolete. However, Collins said:
Scientists have found “there are parts of the viral coat that don’t change …. If you designed a vaccine to go after the constant part of the virus, you’d be protected against all strains.”
Five years is a bit ambitious but it’s becoming a matter of when, not if. One shot to rule them all. [USA Today]