SCARNG Prepares for Flu Season

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One difference stood out - Ineffectiveness was not seen in flu vaccines manufactured without the use of chicken eggs in the process.

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 it isn't completely bulletproof.

"In the meantime, everyone should continue to get their annual flu vaccine". They are antigenically similar to the strain of vaccine.

The egg method allows for large-scale manufacturing but is unreliable. They only know at the end of the season if their vaccine was a good match.

It's best to get vaccinated before flu viruses start to spread in your community.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that previous year influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses, 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

Experts worry it could be a hard season if H3N2 dominates. The vaccine 2016 had been "updated" to include the new version of this mutant protein but without much success, he says.

The vaccines effectiveness in mice is an encouraging sign, but a lot more testing needs to be done before it could become commercially available. The molecule is a type of sugar, hence the reason it's being called a glycosylation site. Once injected, these viruses stimulate the body's immune system to act against a protein that extends from the surface of the flu virus. That sugar makes its hard for our antibodies to attach to the virus and kill it, and protect the virus from destruction. The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that can not transmit infection. 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. Gold, Scott Hensley and his team have found that the mutant protein of the H3N2 viruses grew poorly in crops grown in eggs.

"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", Hensley said.