UK Daily Mail
Saturday, Sept 6, 2008
A super-vaccine that could give permanent protection against all forms of flu is being developed by British doctors.
The once-in-a-lifetime vaccine could do away with the need for an annual jab, according to researchers at Oxford University.
At present, the current jab has to be given every winter to match different circulating strains.
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If successful, the new vaccine could be a key weapon against a flu pandemic because stockpiles could be made in advance.
Official estimates of the impact of such a pandemic in Britain show it could lead to 750,000 deaths, with more than six million children affected, including 750,000 under five.
Lead researcher Dr Sarah Gilbert said the vaccine could be used routinely in as little as five years, once tests had been done to ensure its safety and efficacy.
She said a universal vaccine would drastically change the way flu vaccine is used.
‘With having to make new vaccine every year, there’s never enough to go around,’ she said.
‘With this vaccine, we could end up having pretty much everyone vaccinated – a situation more like measles, where you don’t really need it any more.
This article was posted: Saturday, September 6, 2008 at 3:50 am