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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

New Vaccine May Offer Better Protection in the Event of a Flu Pandemic

By November 28, 2012

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A new flu vaccine being developed by Medicago Inc., and not yet on the market, may offer better cross protection against the flu as well as have a shorter manufacturing time than current flu vaccines. Researchers gave mice a dose of the vaccine, developed to prevent avian influenza H5N1, but were surprised to find that the vaccine not only protected against that virus but a second strain of H5N1 and another flu virus dubbed H2N2.

The rapid mutation of the flu virus has been a major hindrance in the effectiveness of current flu vaccines. While more research is needed, if subsequent studies show similar results, the vaccine developed by Medicago could offer better protection against the flu than we've ever had before. Another advantage of this vaccine is that it is manufactured a different and faster way than current vaccines. Hypothetically, if there was an outbreak of a flu virus that we did not have a current vaccination against, the Medicago vaccine could be quickly developed and produced. This vaccine has passed Phase I and II FDA trials but has not finished the approval process. You can read more about this vaccination at Newswise.

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