The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that current influenza vaccines are around 62% effective. Although the vaccine still offers protection against the flu, there is plenty of room for improvement. Today’s flu shot fails to create head immunity, meaning that even those who have not received the vaccine would be protected. New research is working towards improving the vaccine by making them more effective for longer periods of time, possibly for a decade or more. One way this can be achieved is by developing a vaccine that includes parts of the influenza virus that are shared between the most common strains. Such a vaccine would also be useful during flu outbreaks, when vaccine development cannot keep up with a pandemic, since people would already hold some amount of protection.
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