In the 2017–2018 influenza season, there were 30,453 cases of hospitalization according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Of this number, 185 children died. And 80 percent did not get vaccinated that season.
The CDC estimates the effectiveness of current flu vaccines at only 40%.
Killer Flu Vaccine: How Does It Work?
Antigens are a foreign body or substance that provokes an immune response. An epitope is part of that antigen which interacts with the antigen receptor.
They specifically examined killer T cells because previous research had shown these cells are active in the body’s immune response. The response was positive across all flu strains.
Participants were vaccinated , blood tests were done, lungs examined, and then they were expose to flu virus. The results showed that killer T cells protect against all types of influenza virus: A, B, and C. Mass spectrometry found the common epitopes, or viral targets, for the T cells to attack.
Researchers were able to identify parts of the virus that are shared across all flu strains and sub-strains capable of infecting humans. The T cells are the common denominator between all of the three flu strains.
Currently, researchers are developing a universal flu vaccine, using the T cells as the catalyst to attack the viral flu.