How to Fight the Flu This Season Featured font size +

Every year no one is immune from influenza despite annual vaccines

Every year no one is immune from influenza despite annual vaccines. Max Mumby Indigo Getty Images

Even though only between five and 10 per cent of the population will get influenza this year and the immunization is only about 60 per cent effective in an average flu season, Northern Health representatives still think it's a good idea to get the shot.

Flu vaccines that are recommended for this season are either made with inactivated (killed) flu viruses or without flu viruses at all. "A universal flu vaccine based on the stalk would be more broadly protective than the ones we use now, but this information should be taken into account as we move forward with research and development".

He advised people to have their flu jab anyway, adding: "Some protection against H3N2 viruses is better than nothing". However, Dr. Vooght explains that the Australia flu situation was severe because it had a mismatch between the vaccine and the virus strain.

Getting your annual flu shot could soon be a thing of the past. The mice protected with the new vaccine survived exposure to "lethal doses of seven of nine widely divergent influenza viruses". The eggs are then allowed to incubate, and in turn, this allows the virus to replicate. This induces immune cells to make antibodies that stop foreign invaders from infecting cells, readying them to attack flu viruses when the body sees them again.

This year's flu vaccines contain the same H3N2 influenza strain as last year, the study authors said, so efficacy may suffer if that strain ends up in circulation. For example they may have got a food vaccine and got sick anyway. The vaccine 2016 had been "updated" to include the new version of this mutant protein but without much success, he says. The molecule is a type of sugar, hence the reason it's being called a glycosylation site.

"To put this in other terms, our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively", Weaver said. That's because current H3N2 viruses "don't grow well in chicken eggs, and it is impossible to grow these viruses in eggs without adaptive mutations", Scott Hensley, Ph.D., an associate professor of microbiology at Penn, said in a statement.

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