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Universal seasonal flu jab could guard against pandemics

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Using a cocktail of proteins drawn from A and B influenza strains, researchers are testing a universal flu vaccine that could provide broad protection against a variety of seasonal flu strains and may help guard against pandemics.

Every year vaccine manufacturers provide a seasonal flu jab that tries to target the strains which will most likely be in circulation over the winter. And every year the crap shoot leaves specific strains out. Scientists believe that a universal flu vaccine can be developed that can provide a broad range of protection.

"Novel vaccines, capable of inducing long-lasting, broad immunity against divergent strains, including potential pandemic viruses, are highly desirable," said Dr. Robert Belshe of Saint Louis University.

In a study, 377 healthy adults received low doses of Bivalent Influenza Peptide Conjugate Vaccine over six months. The vaccine appeared safe, was well tolerated and triggered an immune response. More testing is planned.

- read the report from UPI

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