Universal Flu Vaccines: Already Here?

I love the smell of FluMist in the mornin'. CDC image.

Public health is a thankless job, and influenza vaccination campaigns are among most thankless projects within it. Every year, legions of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and public officials browbeat everyone to get a flu shot. These well-meaning folks fling themselves against deeply entrenched fears of injections and doctors, general public paranoia about vaccines, and an overwhelming cultural perception that the flu isn’t really worth worrying about anyway. On top of all that, there’s the unconcealable fact that the current flu vaccine frankly sucks.

A major analysis published in 2011 concluded that the standard injected flu vaccine is about 59% effective in …read more