Experts predict more modern and effective vaccines within the year
Over the following decade, more scientific advances are expected, including a universal flu vaccine that would only be administered every five to 10 years, FoxNews.com reports.
According to experts, between eight and 10 years of testing are required before a universal flu vaccine is ready, but incremental advances are expected in the interim, with protection levels for vaccines increasing while manufacturing times decrease.
In the past year, the FDA has approved two new seasonal flu vaccines that protect against four predominant strains instead of only three. THese vaccines include a traditional shot from GlaxoSmithKline as well as AstraZeneca's nasal spray.
An additional flu vaccine from Novartis grown in cultures of dog kidney cells was approved in November by the FDA. The vaccine, which eschews the more conventional chicken egg incubation method, can be created faster and more reliably, allowing stockpiles to quickly be built in the event of a pandemic, according to FoxNews.com.
Last week, another flu vaccine was given the green light by the FDA. Protein Sciences Corp.'s gene-based flu vaccine uses genetic engineering to grow portions of the virus in insect cells.