INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - A Purdue professor is working to make the flu vaccine better in the future.
Professor Suresh Mittal worked on the vaccines for both the bird flu and the swine flu. Now, he says he's working on a bigger project: to develop a flu vaccine that won't have to change every year.
"We are working to develop a vaccine which would be a broadly protected vaccine," said Mittal.
That work he says, will take some time. But he says the hope is that even though the flu virus changes year to year, the vaccine wouldn't have to.
"We want to find out the pieces of this virus gene, which can be used in the vaccine, so that seasonal to seasonal variability does not impact the making of the vaccine that much," he explained.
This year, the shot is said to be between 60 to 70 percent effective. Mittal said he always recommends getting the vaccine.
"That vaccine is still going to provide good protection level," he said.
He warns, protection comes about two weeks after you get the shot. Interestingly enough, he said other researchers are already thinking about next year's flu.
He says the work on the flu vaccine typically begins in February for the following year.
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