Current flu vaccines are formulated each year to protect against specific strains of the virus, but the virus can mutate quickly, making the vaccine less effective. A universal flu vaccine that provides broad protection against multiple strains of the virus could greatly reduce the impact of seasonal flu and also be effective against pandemic flu strains.
According to a recent NIAID article, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced the development of a universal flu vaccine that could protect against multiple strains. The vaccine was created by combining four proteins from different flu viruses that have been modified to preserve their structures, allowing the immune system to recognize and fight off different strains of the virus. The vaccine has shown promising results in animal studies and will soon move on to human clinical trials.