Searching for a universal flu vaccine

Horizon: the EU Research & Innovation Magazine. Researchers may have found ways to make a vaccine against all strains of the flu virus, potentially saving millions of lives.

Last year’s flu vaccine rarely works on this year’s strain due to the virus’ very high mutation rate. Worldwide, the seasonal flu virus causes 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness and a further 250 000 to 500 000 deaths every year.A pandemic flu strain could kill millions in the months it would take scientists to make a specific vaccine.Three separate EU-funded projects are now developing techniques to teach our immune systems to recognise any flu strain, removing the need for scientists to develop new vaccines each time a new strain appears.
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FLUNIVAC

FLUNIVAC aims at developing a candidate influenza vaccine based on recombinant Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara viruses (rMVA) encoding both B-cell and T- cell response-inducing proteins, ready to commence Phase I clinical trials.

We focus on influenza A virus since it is the most pathogenic variant to humans and causes all manifestations of human influenza: zoonotic, seasonal and pandemic.