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6 Aug 2013

Researchers get closer to universal flu jab

Scientists are a step closer to a universal flu vaccine

Researchers have made further advancements that could put an end to the need for annual flu jabs through the development of a universal flu vaccine.

Although a universal flu vaccine is a still a long way off, a team from Sanofi found this latest jab could be up to ten times as effective as current vaccines.

Tests have been carried out on animal models to verify the results, with the scientists now hopeful they will be able to conduct clinical trials to prove the efficacy of the drug.

The team used spikes that stick out from the influenza virus and fused them with a transporter protein that is naturally found in blood.

Administering the vaccine in ferrets, they found the animals were resistant to batches of flu viruses that were common between 1934 and 2007.

In an interview with the BBC, chief scientific officer at Sanofi Dr Gary Nabel said: "We think this is a step down the path towards a universal vaccine. It's not a universal vaccine yet."

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