A Universal Influenza Vaccine?

A Universal Influenza Vaccine?

A Universal Flu Vaccine?

Early in December of this year, researchers at Mount Sinai announced that there has been a promising advancement in creating a universal flu vaccine. This is amazing news! About 650,000 deaths occur globally each year due to influenza. Moreover, with the world’s attention on safe vaccines more than ever, learning about a universal vaccine for one of the most deadly and seasonal viruses ever is headline-grabbing.

Vaccines take time. Researchers must test and record, test and record. They have to revisit the drawing board many times. Science is all about trial and error. Mount Sinai’s research team completed Phase 1 of their clinical trials and found the human immune system responds strongly and durably to the newly formulated vaccine.

Amazingly, the strong immune response lasts for up to 18 months! That means you wouldn’t have to visit your local CVS every year for that delightful little flu shot.

Is This Vaccine Safe?

With everyone concerned about the coronavirus vaccine’s safety, it makes perfect sense to be concerned about a safe universal flu vaccine. Influenza is an ever-changing virus that is unpredictable and deadly. From a particularly painful cold to H1N1, the flu has seen many forms.

Luckily, researchers hold safety very high on their priority list when it comes to discovering a new vaccine. Furthermore, vaccines are the best preventative weapon against seasonal flu. The purpose of Mount Sinai’s research was to “evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of group  1 cHA-based universal influenza virus vaccine candidates.”

cHA stands for chimeric hemagglutinin. Let’s break it down. Chimeric means that the vaccine is created by “substituting genes from the target pathogen for similar genes in a safe, but a closely related organism.” Hemagglutinin means “blood” in Greek and “glue” in Latin (of course, right?). But this protein is a part of the influenza virus. It binds the virus to cells so it can then infect it.

All in all, the universal flu vaccine is seeing safe and effective advancement.

How Does The Vaccine Work?

All vaccines have some little fighter in them to fend off viruses. This specific vaccine produces antibodies that target part of the surface protein, hemagglutinin, of the flu virus to neutralize it. This has been successful for many diverse strains of influenza.

If you’re worried about your immune system’s fighting power, Dr. Smith of Agape explains ways to increase viral immunity:

  • Take lots of vitamins – A, B6, and C
  • Zinc is key for the immune system.
  • Flavonoids help stimulate the immune system’s responses.

He even suggests Bio-Vegetarian as a reliable combination supplement of all the above suggestions. This supplement is “outstanding in preventing chronic viral infections or repeated viral infections.” So, if you aren’t too sure about the universal vaccine, try taking your own preventative measures.