U.S. Department of Health funds novel methods of improving influenza vaccines
This move is part of the HHS’s initiative to create more universal, effective influenza vaccines as well as to improve the health community’s overall preparedness for seasonal and pandemic influenza.
One of these projects furthers the creation of a new oral influenza vaccine that is available in the form of a pill rather than an injection. The second project will develop a data-drive strategy that will be the foundation of the process for choosing influenza virus vaccines that are more effective for the national pre-pandemic influenza vaccine stockpile. The chosen vaccines should also support the strain selection of seasonal influenza vaccines.
"Seasonal influenza contributes to tens of thousands of deaths every year in the United States and that number could reach hundreds of thousands during a pandemic or severe outbreak," Robin Robinson, Ph.D., director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), said. "Developing more effective and universal influenza vaccines is a vital element in our strategy to prepare the nation for a pandemic, as well as improving public health when seasonal influenza virus is circulating."