mRNA universal influenza vaccine in two years

A universal flu vaccine that protects against all strains of the virus could be available within the next two years, according to a leading scientist.

vaccine

An experimental vaccine based on the mRNA technology used in Covid vaccines has been found to protect mice and ferrets from severe influenza, paving the way for human clinical trials. Professor John Oxford, a neurologist at Queen Mary University in London, who was not involved in the research, said the vaccine developed at the University of Pennsylvania could be ready for use next winter.

"I cannot stress how important this publication is," John Oxford told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme.

"The potential is huge and I think sometimes we underestimate these respiratory viruses."

Researchers have been working on universal flu vaccines for more than a decade, but the latest breakthrough, published in Science, is considered a major step toward a vaccine that could help protect people from a potentially devastating flu pandemic.

Seasonal flu vaccines, which protect against one to four strains of the virus, are updated each year to ensure they match the flu viruses in circulation.

The new vaccine is designed to activate the immune system against all 20 subtypes of influenza A and B, potentially arming the body to deal with any flu virus that emerges.

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Written by giorgos

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