Protect yourself from the flu

by Noah Mcgee November 8, 2017, 0:14
Protect yourself from the flu

Even though only between five and 10 per cent of the population will get influenza this year and the immunization is only about 60 per cent effective in an average flu season, Northern Health representatives still think it's a good idea to get the shot.

Apart from the above target, researchers are using different strategies to create a global flu shot vaccine that could target the stem of the protein which has got less chance of changing seasonally. Remember that it takes two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to become protected, so get your flu vaccine now before you head home for the holidays. A unit of Australia's CSL, the company is using a massive former Novartis plant in North Carolina for its cell-based flu vaccine production.

The egg method allows for large-scale manufacturing but is unreliable. The fluid in the eggs is then removed and purified to get enough of the virus strain to make the vaccine. "And it's important that they don't spread the virus to their family and the community".

"Our experiments suggest that influenza virus antigens grown in systems other than eggs are more likely to elicit protective antibody responses against H3N2 viruses that are now circulating", said Scott Hensley, an associate professor of microbiology at Penn. And this is apparently causing problems with the end product. "Here, we biochemically demonstrate that the HA antigenic site B of circulating clade 3C.2a viruses is glycosylated", say the authors.

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After the experiment, the scientists now are looking forward to conducting more research in order to see whether or not the same vaccine might be applicable to humans too.

Scientific American explains all the medical details very simply - In 2014, the H3N2 virus began wearing a new molecule on one of its surface proteins.

"To put this in other terms, our current influenza vaccine programs and technologies reduce influenza infections and hospitalizations by 4.75 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively", Weaver said.

Flu vaccines aim to protect us by priming our immune systems. Gold, Scott Hensley and his team have found that the mutant protein of the H3N2 viruses grew poorly in crops grown in eggs.


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