Each year, the flu vaccine is reengineered based on a “best guess” of how researchers believe the flu will materialize. An October 3rd BBC News article is hopeful better protection is on the horizon with a universal flu vaccine that targets the part of the virus that doesn’t change each year. The work is funded in part by University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and carried out by Vaccitech, a company derived from the university.
The team is now ready to test the effectiveness of the new vaccine on 500 volunteers. Half of the volunteers will receive the standard seasonal flu shot and a placebo, while the other half will receive the standard shot plus the new experimental one. The trial will take two years to complete; if successful, the vaccine could be licensed for widespread distribution.