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New universal flu vaccine

Researchers at the University of Oxford are searching for about 500 NHS patients to try out a new universal flu vaccine.

It is the world's first widespread human testing of such a vaccine, according to the National Institute for Health Research.

They are supporting the project.

The new jab targets part of the virus that does not change each year. The Researchers state that this means the vaccine should work against human, bird and swine flu.

Flu is a common infectious, viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.

It's not the same as the common cold.

Flu is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer.

Some of the main symptoms of flu include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • tiredness and weakness
  • a headache
  • general aches and pains
  • a dry, chesty cough

Immunisation is the best defence we have against flu but it is not always effective.

Data from the health body, released in August, showed that across the UK, the 2016/17 vaccination programme showed that the jab was 40.6% effective in 18-64 year olds, but showed no significant effectiveness in the elderly.

Prof Gilbert, co-founder of Vaccitech, a spin-out company from University of Oxford's Jenner Institute that is part-funding the work, told the BBC:

"We expect that the protection from the new vaccine will last longer than a year, but we will need to test that with more clinical trials in the future.

"It is possible that, in future, vaccinations against flu might be given at longer intervals - maybe every five years instead of every year. But first we have to test protection in the first flu season following vaccination."

She said the current trial will take two years to complete. If further studies go well the vaccine could then be licensed for wider use. It is hoped that this vaccine will work well against the development of flu, saving the lives of many elderly people.

At Swain & Co we have successfully settled many cases involving failure of medical professionals to provide necessary vaccines and treatment.

We successfully handle cases for clients who have suffered at the hands of medical professionals. If you would like to bring a claim involving potential negligent treatment by medical professionals, we would be more than happy to discuss the potential claim with you and provide you with advice.

Melanie Lidstone-Land and the Medical Negligence team at Swain & Co Solicitors regularly win compensation for their clients who have experienced substandard treatment or a failure to provide treatment. If you, a family member or a friend have experienced problems regarding substandard medical treatment contact our team today on 02392 483322. 

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