Seasonal Flu Vaccines – A Thing of the Past?

We’ve harped on before about getting your flu shot this fall already – and why not? I’ll throw in one more shameless plug:

  • UMHS employees can attend walk-in clinics through the end of November, a full list is here
  • The public can also attend walk-in clinics at a variety of UMHS sites around Ann Arbor, a schedule is here

Carl Zimmer writes for the New York Times that our annual forays to flu shot clinics may well become an antiquated notion, replaced instead by a universal vaccine that would do double duty: “fight against seasonal flu outbreaks…and new pandemic strains.

It would be two shots we would receive as children, followed by occasional boosters, and would be fundamentally different from the annual vaccines we get now by targeting a different part of the virus structure. A universal vaccine could prevent massive pandemics – such as the one that killed millions in 1918. If you’re historically inclined, the University of Michigan’s Center for the History of Medicine just launched a digital encyclopedia chronicling that 1918 flu pandemic.

Read the full article – the delves into the two exciting new options for a universal vaccine – here.

Influenza Archive Photo
Motor Corps and Canteen volunteers from the Detroit chapter of the American Red Cross, taking a break from delivering supplies to influenza victims. Image from Influenza Archive & NARA

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