Vaccines on Steroids | BioMed Mondays 06


In 1796, Edward Jenner created the first vaccine.  The first vaccine was used to fight against cowpox.  Since then the vaccine technology has improved dramatically.  We now have vaccines that help us fight against measles, mumps, and rubella.  In fact, vaccines have almost eliminated polio.  Now imagine a vaccine that does not need to be modified.  This type of vaccine is called the universal flu vaccine; a vaccine “on steroids.”

Scientists from Lancaster University have designed a new generation of universal flu vaccines that could save millions of lives and prevent future global pandemics.  Two vaccines were created.  One was designed for use in the US, whiles the other was designed for use in the rest of the world.  The US-specific vaccines covers form 95% of known influenza vaccines, while the worldwide vaccine covers 88% of known global flu strains.  

This technology has a very powerful effect on society.  The technology will prevent the many endless rounds of vaccination.  It will also remove the risk of vaccines not working, which happened with the H3N2 vaccine.  Currently, this technology is being tested on its safety and its claims.  In the next 5 to 10 years, the universal flu vaccine will likely go mainstream and replace the current method of vaccination.

Author: Hamza Waheed