Every year sees a growing number of people contracting, and dying, from the flu. Scientists have constantly been trying to come up with a “miracle drug” to combat influenza. This year, doctors are already saying to schedule your flu shot early, and are speculating a bad year for this flu season. There’s speculation of a “miracle influenza vaccine” that could be coming out in approximately five years.
As a lot of you may already know, there is a new flu vaccine this year. Previous vaccines have covered up to three strains of the flu. Two strains have protected against influenza-A. (This is the cause of most strains of the flu and the most deaths from the flu.) The third strain the vaccine covers is influenza-B. This year, there will be an all-new influenza vaccine. It will be a 4-in-1 vaccine, covering two strains of Influenza-A, and two strains of influenza-B.
There are four companies providing the vaccine this year: Sanofi Paseur, then Astrazeneca, Glaxosmith, and Novartis. Sanofi, the world’s largest influenza vaccine provider, made $1.2 billion last year, and they plan to increase their profits by at least 50% with the 4-in-1 influenza vaccine. Last year, the cost per flu shot was $8.02. This year, it’s estimated that the charge will be $12.03 per shot. That means you may be paying almost double for the 4-in-1 vaccine. A vaccine that is only covering one more strain of the flu, and not even the strain that makes more people sick, or the one that has a higher rate of severity.
Don’t lose hope! There is a new influenza vaccine being tested and researched. Scientists believe they have a “blue print” for treating, and even stopping, all strains of influenza. The theory was tested by a team at Imperial College of London. A group of 342 staff and students were injected with the 2009 swine flu. The group was also treated with this new revolutionary vaccine for influenza. Those who received the influenza vaccine, showed significantly less symptoms, and for every one who had them, the symptoms were less severe. Professor Ajit Lalvani stated that he hopes the vaccine to be “‘The Holy Grail’ in producing in more CD8T cells.” Apparently, the more CD8T cells our body produces, the less infections we would get, and the less often illnesses like influenza would infect us.
In the following days and years to come, we hope to hear more about this miracle in form of an influenza vaccine. The “miracle influenza vaccine” could save thousands of lives every year. Wouldn’t it be great to never have the flu again, or at least not as severe? It seems like this may be a reality in the coming years.
Written By: Crystal Ervin