Researchers working to improve flu vaccine effectiveness

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Flu season arrived early this year, and your best bet against getting sick is the vaccine. It’s not perfect, but researchers are working to improve its effectiveness.

Last flu season, the flu killed at least 36,000 people, so this shot is literally a life saver.

In September, President Trump signed an Executive Order noting that the current system for making flu shots “has critical shortcomings.”

The order pledges to modernize the process. The first step: stop using eggs to make flu vaccine.

They grow the virus in the eggs — like the eggs you eat for breakfast — and then they kill the virus and put it in the vaccine, but sometimes, the virus changes inside the egg, so it doesn’t end up matching the flu that’s spreading among people.

Some companies have figured out ways to grow the flu virus without using eggs. President Trump’s Executive Order is designed to encourage more of this technology that researchers have been working on for years.

The latest project is a flu vaccine you would only have to get once in your life as opposed to every year.

However, a universal flu shot is at least a decade away. So for now, get your regular flu shot to protect yourself and everyone around you.

Categories: Health, Local San Diego News