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This year’s flu vaccine has only been 23 percent effective, the Associated Press has reported. The H3N2 virus that mutated after the production of the vaccine caused a less effective vaccine and a particularly bad flu season.

Universal flu vaccine to protect against all strains.
Universal flu vaccine to protect against all strains.

The flu vaccine does not protect against all strains of the flu—not yet.

Scientists at Mount Sinai Health Systems are in the process of developing a universal flu vaccine, according to Good Morning America. The universal vaccine would provide protection against all flu viruses for up to two decades.

A universal flu shot would target the part of the virus that remains unchanged and prevent a scenario like the 2014-2015 flu season from reoccurring, according to Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Schaffner believes a “universal vaccine is the Holy Grail and the prospects of what this could do for medicine is staggering.”

ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser appears to be cautiously optimistic. “So far no one has been able to develop a vaccine that works against every type of flu,” said Dr.  Besser. “I’d urge caution until scientists present data showing they’ve really been able to achieve this.”

The Anapol Schwartz vaccine injury lawyers urge patients to discuss with their doctors the safety and risks associated with all vaccines—including new vaccines.

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