National Institutes of Health Continue Work on “Universal” Flu Vaccine

Current flu vaccines do not protect against all strains of influenza. Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), working in collaboration with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), recommend vaccines targeting the specific strains that scientists expect to be most prevalent over the coming flu season. These recommendations are more accurate in some years than others, as evidenced by the year-to-year fluctuations in overall flu shot effectiveness.

But, this could one day change.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently announced that it has initiated clinical testing of a “broadly protective” flu vaccine with the potential to protect against multiple strains of influenza. The experimental nasal spray could potentially serve as a universal vaccine against the flu. According to NIAID:

“The investigational vaccine… is made from a strain of seasonal influenza virus (H3N2) that has been genetically designed to replicate only once in the body… Investigators hypothesize that volunteers who receive the candidate vaccine will have a robust immune response not only against H3N2 strains that match those in the vaccine but also against influenza strains that are mismatched to the vaccine strain. A previous Phase 1 trial of this candidate vaccine in healthy adults showed that it was safe and generated a robust immune response and a Phase 2 trial in healthy adults is currently underway (that trial is not supported by NIAID.)”

The experimental universal flu vaccine is being developed by FluGen, Inc., a private research company based in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to the current Phase 2 trials testing the vaccine’s safety and efficacy in adults, FluGen, Inc. has launched a Phase 1 trial focused on children and teens ages nine to 17 which is supported by NIAID.

The Wide-Ranging Benefits of a Universal Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine

The flu shot is the most common vaccine administered in the United States by far. From 2006 through 2016, more than 1.3 billion doses of the flu shot were distributed across the country according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is more than a billion more doses than the next-most-common vaccine, Tdap (which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), of which approximately 225 million doses were distributed during this same time period.

Not only would a universal nasal spray flu vaccine have the potential to greatly improve overall vaccine effectiveness, but it would also protect against one of the most-common risks associated with the flu shot: the risk of shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). These injuries result from errors during immunization (such as injecting the flu shot too high on the shoulder or too deep into the arm), and could be avoided entirely with an effective nasal spray vaccination.

Legal Representation for Individuals Diagnosed with Flu Vaccine SIRVA

For individuals diagnosed with SIRVA following a flu shot, financial compensation is available through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant represents individuals nationwide in claims under the VICP. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, please call 202-800-1711 or request an appointment online today.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.

Categories: Flu Vaccine, National Institutes of Health

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