Oregon researchers working to develop life-long flu vaccine

September 09, 2019 02:43 PM

(KGW) Getting your flu shot every year may soon be a thing of the past.

Oregon Health and Science University researchers are using grant money to develop a lifelong flu vaccine.

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Last year marked 100 years since the deadliest flu pandemic in history, known as the 1918 influenza pandemic. The centennial spurred the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to start the Grand Challenge for Universal Influenza Vaccine Development.

The university received $1.7 million to develop a lasting and broadly effective flu vaccine that would replace the current once-a-year shot.

"It's a pretty big deal. This is equivalent to the moon shot from Kennedy and it's a big goal we're going to move toward,” said the project's lead researcher, OHSU professor Dr. Jonah Sacha.

If their flu vaccine proves successful, Dr. Sacha says you'd only have to get it once as a child and it would protect you against all strains of the virus.

Right now, it's a toss-up whether the flu shot will protect you any given season because the virus changes constantly.

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