ASU And The Flu (Climate of Health)

We wrote a blog on this year’s flu vaccine a few weeks ago, and wanted to follow up with an interesting new story out of Arizona State University.

ASU just released a news report titled – “Future Flu: Where The Annual Shot Is Heading.” The article acknowledges how tough flu strains can crack through the immunization and get people sick, but it also focuses on new research at Arizona State that is helping to develop vaccines that “pinpoint the virus more precisely.” From ASU News:

“Now, for just about every vaccine we’re trying to make, we can actually genetically engineer the virus to have it do what we want it to do,” said Bertram Jacobs, a professor of virology in the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. “We can use modern molecular genetics to change viruses in the way we want them to go so there are better vaccines, more effective vaccines. … We think we can genetically engineer vaccines so they’re a whole lot safer.”

Different strains of flu pop up each year, leading researchers and manufacturers to play whack-a-mole each season trying to develop the most effective vaccines. More universal vaccines are on the way that will wipe out a broad variety of flu, according to ASU molecular biologist Brenda Hogue.

As Arizonans head into the heart of the flu season, it’s good to know there are people right here in our own state who are looking for new ways to keep us safer and healthier. By the way….a recent story in USA Today claims doctors are anticipating a nasty flu season this year and suggest getting vaccinated soon, since it takes two weeks for the body to build up immunity.


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