The yearly flu shot could become a thing of the past after $12 million in new research that was announced Aug. 29 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the charitable organization Flu Lab.
Oregon Health & Science University is one of at least six institutions winning a Grand Challenge for Universal Influenza Vaccine Development grant to develop long-lasting and more broadly effective flu vaccines.
Such a vaccine could replace the current norm: an annual flu shot that is manufactured six months ahead of time and can miss the mark, causing some of its recipients to still get sick.
Seasonal flu outbreaks cause more than a fever and the sniffles - they also lead to an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 deaths annually.
OHSU is receiving nearly $1.7 million to adapt its existing vaccine platform, which is already being used to develop vaccines against HIV and tuberculosis, so it can also fight the flu.
The combination triggers a remarkably effective, long-lasting immune response with effector memory T cells, which can search out and destroy infected cells.