Finding The Right Vaccine To Treat Influenza

Dr. Jonas Salk, an accomplished American medical researcher, created a vaccine designed to fight, if not cure, those who had been infected with poliomyelitis a disease that attacked the nervous system. More than three thousand people had died of this dreaded disease. Fifty-eight thousand people were affected with polio in 1953. There is a historical record of Polio causing epidemics because it was readily transmitted and there was no effective cure. Today there is a dramatic reduction in polio which is the result of people coming to America from a country that had not adequately have a polio treatment program.

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. This process of the mutation from the previous vaccine is referred to as antigenic drift. A shotgun approach is now the way of deciding what strains of the flu virus to be used by combining at least four different past influenza viruses.

In an article prepared by NBC News on March 23, 2018, the article was a report discussing what would be the formula for the flu vaccine for the next season of influenza. The concern was that since the vaccine is made using outdated technology the new vaccine may not be sufficient. In the preparation of a vaccine for the upcoming influenza season, a prediction or a forecast of which strains of the flu will be needed to make a new vaccine. Since there is a question of the effectiveness of the technology the vaccine for the next influenza season may not adequately treat the flu.

The process of drug and vaccine production is at a slow pace, and because of the use of old technology, global flu experts will not timely decide the formula for the new vaccine fast enough to treat millions of people. An effective vaccine is one that will give protection to 90 percent of the population.

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