The flu bug may soon be extinct

17 Feb

Something fairly amazing happened last week, yet it got very little news coverage. British researchers announced they are testing a universal vaccine that would make regular flu shots a thing of the past. The vaccine, if successful in tests, means we would only need to get one flu shot in our lifetime, supplemented by the occasional booster, similar to what we get for things like chicken pox or polio.

Doctors are saying this could be a significant step forward in fighting pandemics, and it would certainly put an end to the shortage of flu vaccines we run into every year. The researchers behind the vaccine, which observers have called a potential “grand slam home run,” say it could be on the market in the next five years, if it works out.

It’s still a little pie-in-the-sky, but the vaccine’s potential is enough to have scared at least one drug maker, Toronto-based Microbix Biosystems, into issuing a lengthy refutation of why it won’t work out. According to the company, “There will always be a demand for egg-based seasonal vaccine. We have seen the data.”

Maybe, maybe not. For the most part, though, I think Chris Rock got it right in his critique of drug makers when he said, “There ain’t no money in the cure, the money is in the medicine.” Here’s that hilarious clip (warning: it contains bad language, so cover your ears… oh, and for some reason the video won’t play here on the blog, so just click the link in the video box to watch on YouTube):

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Posted by on February 17, 2011 in drugs, health


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