The Relevance of Keeping the Influenza Vaccine up to Date

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Throughout history, illness has long haunted the human race. However, we have always found ways to treat these illnesses through herbs, medicine, and even proceeding to complex vaccines and antibiotics. One virus in particular that has frustrated scientists for ages is the influenza virus. With the creation of the influenza vaccine however, we have now begun to combat this deadly virus and the complication that comes with its infection. With the use of the influenza vaccine increasing and spreading throughout developing countries, it is important for us to keep the influenza vaccine up to date and ensure that interpandemic vaccines are able to match the global demand.

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In the year 2000, the majority of the influenza vaccine was created by only nine companies in nine countries (Fedson 2003). With this level of production, it will be almost impossible to meet the demand for interpandemic vaccines if a breakout happens in the future. Recent advances however, are working towards creating a vaccine that attacks multiple subtypes of the influenza A virus (Subbarao et al. 2006). Through cross analyzation, scientists were able to identify some similarities within the formation of hemagglutinin (HA) within different subtypes of the influenza A viruses (Subbarao et al. 2006). With this new information, scientists won’t have to worry about creating millions of new vaccines to fight the numerous amounts of viruses out there. Instead, scientists would be able to focus on creating and mass-producing a select few vaccines that can help combat a wide array of influenza viruses.

Another issue that has been brought up by the influenza vaccine is its effectiveness. Although many people continue to get vaccinated, it's not always the case that the vaccine prevents infections in all patients. Due to this, recent studies have gone underway to create a new influenza vaccine without the NS1 interferon antagonist. Through a double-blind, placebo-controlled procedure, scientists carefully monitored the control group and experimental group through the span of about a month. Nasal washings were then collected through time intervals to analyze the effectiveness of the vaccine. Through the study, scientists were able to prove that this new vaccine not only promotes strong immune responses but also removes the viral progeny that many NS1 viruses undergo (Wacheck et al. 2010).

Overall, the innovations of modern society have truly revolutionized how we combat illnesses. As we continue to make advancements in the medical field, there is no doubt that we’ll be able to produce more effective and available vaccines for the influenza virus. It is crucial that we constantly stay on top of the new viruses that are out there and find creative ways to fight against them, as scientists have recently proved. With the creation of these new vaccines, what was once a morbid virus, may soon turn into an easily preventable and harmless ailment.

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