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Flu Virus

Only four in 10 health-care workers at York Region hospitals got their flu shot a year ago, according to the region's public health department. "There is no doubt that there is a need for more effective vaccine technologies".

"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. Most of the vaccines we receive use purified proteins from a virus grown in chicken eggs, while others use antigens grown through alternative methods.

The World Health Organization estimates the flu virus results in 1 billion infections, 3 to 5 million cases of severe disease and 300,000 to 500,000 deaths annually.

Forty per cent of health care workers at Southlake Regional Health Centre, Markham-Stouffville Hospital and Mackenzie Health were vaccinated during the 2016/17 flu season. The traditional seasonal flu shot typically contains weakened or dead versions of flu viruses.

The idea is to use an ancestral form of the influenza virus in a vaccine.

He adds some people may not get the flu every year, but it doesn't hurt to take extra precaution to make sure the virus doesn't spread to those who are venerable.

This is no easy task, and a study out today in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that one of the most promising strategies - creating a vaccine that targets the "stalk" of a protein that covers the flu virus - is a strong one, but isn't completely bulletproof.

Flu can be a serious illness, particularly for young children, older adults, and people with certain long-term health conditions like asthma, heart disease, or diabetes. They are antigenically similar to the strain of vaccine. The eggs are then allowed to incubate, and in turn, this allows the virus to replicate.

Flu vaccines work by priming the immune system with purified proteins from the outer layer of killed flu viruses. There are now two non-chicken egg flu vaccines made in the U.S. One is FLUCELVAX, and is grown in canine kidney cells, and the second, Flublok, is grown in insect cells.

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