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How do you make a universal flu vaccine? A microbiologist explains the challenges

8 Comments
By Deborah Fuller

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I stick to turmeric, Neem, star anis, and cloves, of course, wearing masks when needed, and washing hands.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Quite interesting field of research that at this point seems to be very promising. A big difference between the immunity against influenza and covid is that the influenza viruses depend much more on the antigenic drift to cause new cases every season, meanwhile for the SARS-CoV-2 it is the natural decrease of the efficacy of the immunity that ends up letting infections cause disease even from very closely related variants. This means that the developing of the influenza universal vaccine would mean long lasting protection against influenza in general.

A very narrow silver lining of the pandemic is that it caused a huge boost in the developing of mRNA vaccines; this may lead to easier, cheaper, safer and more effective vaccines could be developed for other diseases as well.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

virusrexToday  10:08 am JST

A big difference between the immunity against influenza and covid is that the influenza viruses depend much more on the antigenic drift to cause new cases every season,*

Well, yeah, that is what is written in the article.

This means that the developing of the influenza universal vaccine would mean long lasting protection against influenza in general.

Absolutely false, and your claim flies in the face of basic medicine and science.

Just developing a vaccine does not mean protection.

The vaccine (if deemed safe) would have to be administered to a living person to provide any potential protection.

At the same time, there would not necessarily be any long lasting protection--once the vaccine is administered--because potentially there would be variants that could slip through a person's immunity defense.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Well, yeah, that is what is written in the article.

No, it does not, as clear as you can't quote where in the article this is even written, just a baseless claim you make. In fact both infections are compared in similitude, not in contrast as I did.

Absolutely false, and your claim flies in the face of basic medicine and science.

You just claiming something without evidence is not an argument, what source do you have to claim this possibility is not realistic or even likely? appeals to your own authority from an anonymous account are not enough to contradict an argument sustained in the content of the article.

Just developing a vaccine does not mean protection.

Succesfully developing it does mean that, else it would not be called this way, vaccines and vaccine candidates are not the same thing.

The vaccine (if deemed safe) would have to be administered to a living person to provide any potential protection.

Which is obvious, the same as to every other kind of medical intervention, your argument is like saying antibiotics do not help fighting infections because they are just compounds in vials and boxes.

At the same time, there would not necessarily be any long lasting protection--once the vaccine is administered--because potentially there would be variants that could slip through a person's immunity defense.

You clearly do not understand what is the meaning of "universal" in the title and the tiext you quote, and that you did not even read the article you are trying to refute with your claims, because it clearly explains why any influenza vaccine that can be qualified as universal would prevent your scenario by definition.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

NoDeveloping a vaccine requires 3 phases. And again, there is no protection unless administered to a person.

Neither are reasons why a successfully developed vaccine would not mean protection, by definition being successfully developed would mean clinical trials AND use in patients have been proved to provide such protection, making less and less sense with invalid criticism only makes it more obvious that you now understand you were mistaken.

It's obvious now because I pointed out your error.

Pretending that any therapeutic measure is useless when not used is not pointing out an error, is making just obviously invalid criticsm, once again just because you were proved wrong in the same way as when you tried to ignore the meaning of "universal" to pretend variants would not be subjected to the protection of the vaccine.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Like the virus that causes COVID-19, influenza rapidly changes and mutates into new variants...

Yeah, and our natural immune system adapts...

, so manufacturers have to update the flu shot to try to keep pace.

I wish government agencies and the media would spend at least as much time educating people how to naturally maintain overall health and a strong immune system as they do promoting injections...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yeah, and our natural immune system adapts...

Still with much higher risk from getting this adaptation from the infection than from the vaccines, the simple fact that vaccines reduce the risk even for people that were previously infected proves the value of immunization.

I wish government agencies and the media would spend at least as much time educating people how to naturally maintain overall health and a strong immune system as they do promoting injections...

Promoting overall health did not began with the pandemic, decades and decades of efforts have been dedicated for this purpose, it is simply that lifestyle changes are not something that people adopt with ease, so just claiming that health care professionals should magically achive this even when it has been not possible during all this time has no real value. People are exposed to multiple other risks by having unhealthy lifestyles but that do not stop them from doing it, covid is just one more risk being added.

For vaccines the hurdle is much lower reduce importantly risks for this specific health problem without need to make any life long investment.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Neither are reasons why a successfully developed vaccine would not mean protection, by definition being successfully developed would mean clinical trials AND use in patients have been proved to provide such protection, making less and less sense with invalid criticism only makes it more obvious that you now understand you were mistaken.

After almost 2 years of being in error regarding the COVID-19 “vaccine” debacle, now we must endure a sermon on successful vaccine development.

Send in the clowns. There ought to be clowns. Don’t worry, they’re here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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