A new swine flu vaccine on the horizon!

With the swine flu epidemic throwing our lives out of order, prevention has become highest priority. A vaccination to prevent the attack of flu stands to be the best line of defence at the moment. One of the most common vaccines used to treat swine flu is vaccigrip a vaccine made up of three types of flu virus strains including the H1N1 virus stain. The swine flu vaccine that is being currently administered is for the 2014 strain of the H1N1 virus and hardly provides any resistance to the mutated H1N1 virus. Here is how to improve your immunity to fight swine flu.

How is this vaccination different?

A new research pointed out that, a flu vaccine that includes four strains of inactivated influenza could be more protective than a similar flu vaccine containing only three strains like the recent vaccination that s been administered. The findings parallel earlier results that found adding a strain of influenza B could improve the effectiveness of a flu vaccine, nasal spray and a traditional intramuscular vaccine that is injected as a shot in the arm muscle. Here is all you need to know about the medications and treatment of swine flu.

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How does the fourth viral stain help?

We found adding a fourth strain to the vaccine increases the chance the vaccine will match the circulating flu B strains, said lead researcher author Geoffrey Gorse, professor of internal medicine at the Saint Louis University in the US. Flu vaccines can be trivalent - containing two strains of influenza A and one of influenza B - or quadrivalent - including two strains of A and two of B. Both are available to fight influenza. Read to know if swine flu is curable.

Scientists create a flu vaccine annually based upon the strains of influenza they predict will circulate for the next season. Despite rigorous modelling practices, the virus in the vaccine occasionally does not match the circulating strain of influenza. This has been the case with the recent swine flu pandemic. Hence vaccination was of little help this time. Here is all you need to know about tamiflu -- the first line of antiviral treatment to fight swine flu.

Why a flu vaccination doesn t seem to be effective to treat swine flu this time?

There are two lineages of B flu strains, and 50 percent of the time in the past decade, the trivalent vaccine B strain did not match the circulating B strain. Hence scientist have come up with the quadrivalent vaccine that has both B strains in it. During the study, 3,355 volunteers who were between 18 and 64 years of age were vaccinated at 38 sites in the United States.

They were randomised to receive one of three vaccines: the quadrivalent flu vaccine that contained two A flu strains and both lineages of the B strains - the licensed trivalent intradermal vaccine for the 2012-2013 flu season or an alternate trivalent intradermal vaccine that contained two A strains and the B strain that was not in the licensed seasonal flu vaccine.

What did the study conclude?

Volunteers who received the quadrivalent vaccine had superior antibody responses to the B strains and equally robust responses to A strains compared to volunteers who received the trivalent vaccines that did not contain the corresponding B strains. Further, adding another B strain did not compromise the vaccine's ability to cause the body to mount an immune response to the other flu strains, the researchers noted.

The findings appeared in the journal Vaccine.

With inputs from IANS

Image source: Getty Images

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