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Scientists the USA say they are getting closer to developing a vaccine that will provide life-long protection against any type influenza. This could be welcome news millions people around the world who go to the doctor every year to get a flu jab. Two different research teams have been testing new drugs animals and both have had promising results. Trials will soon begin humans to determine if the test vaccine has similar successes. Flu expert professor John Oxford told the BBC that: "This is a leap forward compared to anything done recently. They have good animal data, not just mice but ferrets and monkeys too." He added that: "It's a very good stepping stone."

The flu virus kills to half a million people every year. The problem finding a vaccine is the ever-changing nature the flu virus. It is a constant state mutation. Doctors have to predict which strains the virus are likely to cause the most infections and then create an updated version the vaccine accordingly. For this reason, the success rate most flu vaccines is very low because much the process involves a lot guesswork. Scientists say that vaccines the U.S. reduced the risk catching flu just 23 per cent last year. The website Inverse.com said the research could, "point to how we can go making vaccines for other viruses that mutate rapidly, like HIV or the common cold".

 
 

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