I suspect they are looking for a virus signature which is common across all strains. This signature is recognised by the immune system and ‘attacked’ before it takes hold. It will be interesting to see if it is possible.
I suppose. I am cynical of the possibility for the reasons I stated.
Not long ago it was difficult to believe that open chest surgery and heart transplant was possible.
Quite true. But that was for technical reasons to do with surgical technique, getting reliable heart-lung machines and suppressing rejection. All challenges to be sure but things we knew in principle how to do to some extent, they had to be developed to become standard procedures.
A universal vaccine requires a complete breakthrough in somehow getting the immune system to react to an antigen that it hasn’t seen before. Conceptual this is quite another matter as it is not just something we don’t know the details of yet but it is forbidden by current immunological principles.
This is way off topic, sorry, but after wondering why after being vaccinated our antibodies start to lose effect only 3-4 months later, I googled this question and came up with some interesting websites.
I have no idea how a universal long -lasting vaccine would be possible but when eminent epidemiologists and immunologists are willing to spend time and money on such a research I don’t feel qualified to question it.
It isn’t always such a short period. This link gives a table for various common vaccines, as you can see some are for life. There are a number of reasons for this mentioned. Even for the short-lived cases you are still better off vaccinated - it’s a number game.
Read that the 2019 flu vaccine is going to be updated as the season progresses in order to include later strains in later vaccines - so that people who need to get a second flu shot in the 2019 season will get a modified flu shot (reference anybody?)
NB: this is not a reason to delay getting your 2019 flu shot, as the longer you delay having it means the longer the period is that you are at increased risk of getting a strain of the flu itself.
Ans now we have the doctors criticising the Qld Government’s plan to allow pharmacists to issue repeat scripts but no mention of any complaints from the pharmacists though.
You have got to love the corcern with the patients’ best interests, oops, the concern with their own vested interests.
CSL says new cell based flu vaccines are 36% more effective. This indicates efficacy is part of the issue. 36% is a big leap. Unfortunately not available (from CSL) in Australia until 2021. A quick browse at TGA site I couldn’t see any cell based fluvax available in Aust. Info from USA CDC on cell based flu vax here. Flucelax mentioned is the CSL product.
Cell based vaccines can be brought to market faster if there is a pandemic or unexpected strain change.
My GP remarked that many leading edge products with much better efficacy than what we have available are often 2-5 years behind coming to market (approved in the US/EU) because of the TGA. Whether it is extreme conservatism in approving, under-funding and understaffing, I have no idea.
The TGA is interested in safety, only sometimes labelling, but not so much regarding efficacy, as I learned in previous exchanges with them – as I saw it, if they have a 35% effective ‘medicine’ already approved, and a 70% effective ‘medicine’ for X in the applications bin, they ‘see’ we have a ‘medicine’ for X so no ‘haste’ required so the newer, better one could languish in the process for years.
Me, I was very early - 12 March - travelling to a flu zone. Pharmacy had fresh stock on 8 March.
It would be interesting to see a statistical analysis. The longer you leave it, the longer you are at risk of an early infection. Or have it early and possibly(?) have less immunity to later infections.
Somewhere I saw seasonal rates for several years in USA. The end of season tail off was very coincident, however the peaks and distributions were inconsistent. Early peaks often more severe, would align with fewer vaccinations.
Hadn’t heard of it, yet around for several years. Many use it?
Totally agree. No one wants to increase their risk of getting the flu.
This is one of the reasons why the “2018 advice” does not apply to the 2019 flu vaccine. Decrease your risk by decreasing the time that you are unprotected by vaccination.
Had mine yesterday. All good.
Following my earlier post where I question the validity of early vaccine I now must retract what I said about delaying getting the flu vaccine. Actually, I have just seen my GP who gave it to me.
There were two main reasons for having my vaccination early and which overrides the time limit on its effectiveness:
- I have already had a cold. This is very unusual, in fact I do not remember ever getting a cold this early in the year, usually I get them at the end of winter. Yes, a ‘cold’ is not the same as flu, but it does reduce you ability to withstand the virus. Especially with my second reason.
- I have compromised lungs. About 50 years ago I worked with asbestos and this has caused damage to my lungs but, unlike many of my workmates (a number have died), it has not progressed further.
So, do not take risks if you are in a high risk group get the flu vax and protect yourself.
Yes, great idea allandorrington you are absolutely correct.
I have cardiomyopathy, my husband has previously suffered from Tuberculosis and my elderly Mother, who lives with us, suffers from emphysema complications due to her husband smoking inside the family home - car etc and she has NEVER smoked herself… so we all piled off to the local GP for our “high priority” Flu vaccines.
It costs us absolutely NOTHING, and I am forever grateful to this wonderful country of Australia that takes care of those most in need for no cost at all.
There is nowhere else in the World that this happens.
I truly appreciate the luxury of being born here in Australia where we can take advantage of Medicare, unlike so many other poor souls around the Planet who have no government Health initiatives.
God Bless Australia!
Xofluza, a drug which apparently provides considerable relief to persons who catch the flu, is now being trialed in Australia.
My GPs nurse runs a flu clinic in the first week of June, a very efficient and knowledgeable person, discussed Oz and OS travel, she recommended a MMR vaccination, which I had the following week. No charge for both, Medicare covered. All other work related, vaccinations I’ve had we free, provided by my employer. They were typhoid, yellow fever, small pox, tetanus, hepatitis A & B.
I agree with all you have said, some people take our system as the norm, our Asian neighbour’s don’t have such a comprehensive health system, of prevention and cure.