About this reports Reuters.
Drug tests are conducted on mice and ferrets. The development could help prevent future pandemics. The two-dose vaccine uses the same messenger RNA technology as the COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
“The idea is to create a vaccine that gives people a baseline level of immune memory to different strains of flu so that the next flu pandemic will have much less illness and less death,” said study leader Scott Hensley of the Perelman School.
Unlike standard flu vaccines, which deliver one or two variants of hemagglutinin, the experimental vaccine includes 20 different types, hoping to trick the immune system into recognizing any flu virus it might encounter in the future.
In laboratory experiments, the immune systems of vaccinated animals protected against 18 different strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B. According to the researchers, the vaccine reduced disease symptoms and protected against death even when ferrets were exposed to a different type of flu that is not in the vaccine.
A universal flu vaccine, if successful in human trials, may not prevent infection. According to Hensley, the goal is to provide reliable protection against serious illness and death.
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