Dr. Anthony Fauci: Universal Flu Vaccine Among Top Priorities

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Universal Flu Vaccine Among Top Priorities

Numerous flu-related deaths reported this flu season were caused by pneumonia, Kao said.

It's also because the flu strain affecting Europe, influenza Type B, is less virulent than Type H3N2.

So the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is bent on making sure next year's flu shot works better, agency commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement released Monday.

But in another light, Powell said, the vaccine is still doing its job. It's resulted in 97 pediatric deaths and a record number of hospitalizations.

And the flu is not to be underestimated, Powell said. "Unfortunately, we've had a very active season and with the current strain out there, it tends to be a more severe illness".

"It's important for people to keep hearing about it", Powell said of the flu. An effective vaccine is one that will give protection to 90 percent of the population.

"If you get the flu, you could do OK, but you might spread it to someone who might not do so well", Powell said.

The Health Department says influenza activity in Maryland has gone form sporadic in October, to local and regional in November and early December, to widespread from mid-December to January and early February. The Health Department estimates between 120 and 2,000 people die from the virus annually. Both are misconceptions, as are pregnant women shouldn't get vaccinated and the vaccine actually gives you flu.

That's because every season could have multiple peaks and various strains, she said. The websites denoted,"influenza epidemic caused by vaccines itself, according to health officials".

Medical researchers continually seek to create a vaccine that will treat the latest cases of flu because over time people develop immunities to prior vaccines and new strains of the flu virus develope.

As it stands, the vaccine is produced in eggs.

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Next: You can't get sick from the shot.

It typically takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to become effective in your body.

"This is a closer cell line that doesn't induce those egg-adapted changes", she said.

While it will never get to 100 percent, Higa was optimistic the flu shot would improve.

"We're learning new things all the time about a virus that's been around for a long time", she said. "Every so often we get a little blip in the spring".

The nasty flu season has brought more attention to the flu shot.

Even if it's not a great match for the virus, there are still plenty of benefits.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they're cautious about saying the flu season has peaked but called the downturn encouraging.

The research on the new formulation of the drug has instead matured in such a way that AstraZeneca's announcement comes in the midst of another unsafe flu season.

"We're planning for the flu all year", Powell said. We're also looking at the difference in effectiveness in people 65 years and older who were vaccinated with high-dose influenza vaccine and adjuvanted influenza vaccine to see if effectiveness was better than in those vaccinated with standard dose vaccines.

The flu nasal mist will also return to the market next year after it received the regulatory OK from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. "I know a lot of people prefer that over the intramuscular shot". "We are pleased that the ACIP has voted in support of a renewed recommendation for FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT in the United States and look forward to continuing to work with public health authorities to optimize protection against influenza", said Gregory Keenan, vice president of USA medical affairs for AstraZeneca, in a statement. The data show that overall vaccine effectiveness for H1N1 and influenza B was 67 percent and 42 percent, respectively, for all age groups combined. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are possible.