by Julie Scagell, Jan 25, 2020 |
In a new study published in the journal The Lancet, a pill being manufactured by biotech company Vaxart Inc. is being considered as effective as a flu shot at preventing the H1 influenza infection.
“New vaccines that protect by alternative mechanisms are needed to improve efficacy of influenza vaccines,” the study said in part. The pill utilizes a non-spreading adenovirus to carry the flu protein.
The study found that just one dose of the oral tablet vaccine provided significant protection against H1.
The pill is still at least five years away from being available to the public.
The pill could have widespread implications by getting more people vaccinated from the deadly flu virus.
David R. Mcilwain, a senior research scientist who worked on the study, told Fox News via The Hill:
“The availability of an oral flu vaccine would be a major breakthrough, not only because of the obvious comfort of avoiding a needle prick but because an oral tablet vaccine would be easier and faster to distribute and administer than an injectable vaccine, which could have a major impact on improving global vaccination rates.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 40 children have died from the flu nationwide and over 13 million flu cases have been reported this season, with more than 6,000 deaths.
Additionally, fewer than half of Americans get a flu vaccine … Read more.
Why do so many people avoid the flu vaccine?
January 3, 2019
UChicagoMedicine – A survey conducted in November by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) found that 41 percent of adults did not intend to get a flu shot this year (2018).
File that under “what were they thinking?”
Seasonal influenza epidemics cause 3 million to 5 million severe cases and 300,000 to 500,000 deaths globally each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Last year’s flu season was an eye opener. According to the CDC, influenza killed almost 80,000 peoplein the United States during the 2017-18 season. There were 49 million cases, and 960,000 hospitalizations. The previous high for a regular—as opposed to catastrophic— flu season was 56,000 U.S. deaths.
“The majority of the 185 children who died from flu last year did not receive the flu vaccine,” said infectious disease specialist Allison Bartlett, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at UChicago Medicine. “Studies have shown that flu vaccination cuts the risk of flu-associated death by half in children.”
Q & A with UChicago Medicine Flu Experts
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots every season for everyone older than 6 months of age.
There are very few exceptions. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine shouldn’t get one. People who have an egg allergy should get the vaccine in a medical setting.
Some people get a flu shot and still get influenza. “Even though vaccination may not completely prevent flu, the symptoms tend to be less severe in people who have been vaccinated,” said Bartlett.
The current strategy for seasonal influenza vaccination “keeps us at least one year behind this ever-evolving virus,” according to scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
But even for those unfortunate few, a flu shot can help. The vaccine can lessen the severity and shorten the duration of the disease.
A 2017 study confirmed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, admissions to intensive care units, time spent in an ICU or in the hospital …