1 flu shot for the rest of your life?

August 25, 2012

What if you could get just one flu shot that would protect you the rest of your life? Well, they're working on it at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. Success would be a game-changer for millions of people at risk.

There are a few good reasons why these folks are out lawn bowling: the company and the activity.

"It's a lot of fun and it's easy on the old bones," says lawn bowler John Harry Williams.
And every year, he, like many Canadians, marches these old bones down to a flu clinic.

Why would he do that?

“Because I'm OLD!"

But soon, he may never have to do this again. Researchers are working on a new universal flu vaccine.

"Once you receive that vaccine, what we hope is that you will not need another shot every year,” says Gary Kobinger of the National Microbiology Lab.

The problem is that the flu mutates every year, making it necessary to come up with a new vaccine every time.

But this vaccine has taken into account all the known flu viruses over the last 100 years.

"If that vaccine can work against all these viruses for the last 100 years, it will also most likely protect against the viruses that we don't know of yet because they haven't emerged yet," says Kobinger.

And he says this one is safer than other vaccines.

"It is not produced in eggs like the current vaccine which can trigger allergies. This one is suspended in pure water so we don't have the allergic reactions," he says.

Still, critics warn this may not be the be all and end all.

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"Once you receive that vaccine, what we hope is that you will not need another shot every year,” says Gary Kobinger of the National Microbiology Lab.