Scientists are close to developing a vaccine to give life-long protection against influenza. This is good news for people who go to the doctor for an annual flu jab. Research teams successfully tested new drugs on animals. Trials will soon begin on humans. A flu expert said: "This is a leap forward compared to anything done recently. They have good animal data." He added that: "It's a very good stepping stone."
Influenza kills up to half a million people a year. Finding a vaccine is difficult because doctors have to guess which types of the virus are likely to cause the most infections. The success rate of many flu vaccines is low because there is so much guesswork. Vaccines in the U.S. reduced the risk of catching flu by just 23 per cent last year. The latest research could help create vaccines for other viruses that mutate quickly, like HIV or the common cold.