Published: Wed, November 08, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Why Your Flu Shot Won't Work Well This Year

Why Your Flu Shot Won't Work Well This Year

Even though the vaccine is not 100 percent effective in preventing flu, it can reduce the severity of flu symptoms.

"In the meantime, everyone should continue to get their annual flu vaccine".

A new flu vaccine that can protect against many different strains of the flu shows promise in early animal tests, according to a study. This year, it was a particularly bad flu season in Australia with H3N2 strains being most prevalent. The current standard-of-care seasonal flu vaccines elicit antibodies that recognize the most dominant viruses within a season.

Scientists from the University of Rochester and University of Chicago claim that the growth of flu virus within chicken eggs is the culprit.

"Many people wrongly believe that the flu shot makes you sick with the flu, and that's not true", says Andrea McLellan, manager of vaccine preventable disease at the health unit.

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That's the advice from the Sudbury and District Health Unit after the first laboratory-confirmed case of influenza A virus in the area was reported. Once injected, these viruses stimulate the body's immune system to act against a protein that extends from the surface of the flu virus.

The goal is to combine the desired HA and NA antigens from the target strain (flu strain 1) with genes from a harmless strain that grows well in an egg (flu strain 2). It was suggested that the A H3N2 virus possessed an adaptive mutation that affected egg-grown vaccines.

The mutation is a necessary step. This is a very significant advancement over the traditional influenza vaccine platform. There are now two non-chicken egg flu vaccines made in the U.S. One is FLUCELVAX, and is grown in canine kidney cells, and the second, Flublok, is grown in insect cells. The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that can not transmit infection. He added that the companies must also ensure to conduct an extensive testing before changing their growth medium. Fauci also called on pharmaceutical companies to hasten the availability and delivery of flu vaccines.

"One of the problems with current influenza vaccines is that the vaccine takes over six months to produce so vaccine manufacturers have to start well before flu season begins". Parents are highly encouraged to follow recommendations.

For those aged two to 17, the flu "mist" is available, Taus said, and for those who have a "thing" about needles, staff is trained to "help and guide them through" the vaccination, relying on various techniques to work through the process. "Thirty-four percent effectiveness is better than zero".

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