Duke researchers are developing a flu shot using the new mRNA technology of coronavirus vaccines that could provide protection for up to five years
- Right now, flu shots are being done by researchers guessing which strains will be the most common
- The new version being developed by Duke University could target all strains of influenza
- It uses the new mRNA technology that is the platform for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Coronavirus vaccines
- mRNA is part of the virus’s genetic code and is what causes the body to recognize the pathogen and attack it when a person becomes infected
- Duke scientists believe humans would be able to get the new shot every four to five years, rather than every year
Duke University researchers are developing a flu shot using the new technology used for two coronavirus vaccines.
Both the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna recordings use a portion of the virus’s genetic code called messenger RNA or mRNA to trick the body into recognizing the pathogen and attacking when a person becomes infected .
Now, scientists from the school in North Carolina have teamed up with the National Institues of Health to develop a flu vaccine using mRNA technology, Nexstar reported.
Additionally, people can get the new shot every four or five years instead of annually.
A new version of the flu vaccine is being developed by researchers at Duke University that would be able to fight all strains of influenza rather than specific ones, as is the case with the current vaccination
The new recording uses a new mRNA technology used for the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus recordings, and involves the body recognizing the virus based on part of its virus’s genetic code and then attacking if one Person becomes infected
“We have completed the manufacture of a messenger RNA vaccine for influenza in the last two weeks that should have broad reactivity across many different strains to make a universal flu vaccine,” said Dr. Barton Haynes, director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute, told Nexstar.
To make flu vaccines, World Health Organization officials choose the tribes for the northern hemisphere shot in February and those for the southern hemisphere in September or October.
The flu vaccine comes in the form of a shot or a nasal spray. For those who choose the injectable, there are two options.
THE MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT THE FLU SHOT
It’s a myth that the flu shot can give you the flu.
“The influenza vaccine does not contain live virus, so it is impossible to remove the flu from the vaccine,” said Dr. Tosh from the Mayo Clinic.
“There was a live vaccine that is no longer available, but it was also impossible to get the flu from it,” he added.
CDC officials insist it’s not too late to get a flu shot, despite evidence that this year’s vaccine is only 30 percent effective against H3N2.
The H3N2 strain of the virus has so far killed 85 adults and 20 children in the United States.
Health officials say the vaccine could be even more valuable now that it is more effective against strains that are just emerging – including the H1N1 strain and various B viruses.
CDC figures show that the majority of Americans are not getting the flu shot and more and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children.
The first is a trivalent vaccine that protects against two strains of influenza A, H1N1 and H3N2, and one strain of influenza B.
The second option, the tetravalent flu vaccine, protects against the same strains as the trivalent vaccine, as well as an additional influenza B virus.
For those with egg allergies or who prefer not to get a shot, there is a nasal spray known as FluMist.
It uses live, weakened viruses designed to teach the body to recognize strains of flu and fight off when infected.
Haynes told Nexstar that the new vaccine will not be able to guess which strains will prevail during the season, but will be able to target all of the strains.
“Here, all of this work is about learning how to target these common places, these conserved regions that react optimally with many different strains or all of the different strains,” said Haynes.
Because of this, people wouldn’t have to get a flu shot every year and could instead get one every four or five years.
In addition, since it is not made from eggs, more people around the world could get the new version, so people with allergies can be immunized.
‘They go into cells in the body and then into the protein made in the body that becomes the vaccine that protects the immune response. And of course there are no eggs and no egg allergy, ”said Haynes.
The vaccine, which is currently in clinical trials, is expensive to manufacture as the materials needed are scarce as they are used for COVID-19 vaccines.
Once the pandemic is over, Haynes told Nexstar that the new flu shots will be cheaper and easier to make than the ones we see today.