Editorial: In search of a lasting flu vaccine
The aches and fever of the flu are more widespread this year than in a decade — epidemic, the experts say — but people may soon be better equipped to avoid the virus. Researchers on several fronts are working to develop a more effective and permanent vaccine. They include the newly launched Universal Influenza Vaccine Initiative.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates flu costs the U.S. approximately $10.4 billion a year in hospitalizations and outpatient visits for adults. When you consider the suffering and loss of life that the flu can also inflict, developing a stronger, more lasting vaccine is imperative.
As one researcher said, “If we had a vaccine that was a very potent universal flu vaccine, we probably wouldn’t be talking about influenza right now.”