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End of Annual Flu Shots? Canadian Researchers Developing One-Time Vaccine

Could we see the end of annual flu shots?

Could we see the end of annual flu shots?

Tired of getting the flu vaccine every year? Thanks to research being conducted at a Canadian university, soon you may not have to.

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. are developing a flu vaccine that would be administered only once, eliminating the need for the annual shot.

Dr. Matthew Miller, an assistant professor of biochemistry at McMaster, is part of the team of researchers developing the universal vaccine. The basis of its success, he said, is that it targets an unchanging part of the flu virus.

“The current vaccines that we’re using now essentially have to be remade every year because of the fact that the virus mutates really rapidly,” Miller said in an interview with CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.

Humans get sick from the flu when the “hemagglutinin,” the part of the virus that mutates, “locks” into our cells. A typical flu vaccine counteracts this process by forcing the immune system to create antibodies which essentially wrap around the hemagglutinin and prevent them from getting into the cells.

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Rebecca Dunn