Single shot may provide lifelong protection against the flu

A new breakthrough on the cusp of human trials may mean lifelong protection against the flu.

A single vaccine, proven to work in mice, appears to provide broad protection against the virus, according to new research from the Nebraska Center for Virology.

“I think this is a very exciting research,” Fox News medical correspondent, Dr. Marc Siegel, told FOX Business’s Stuart Varney on “Varney & Co.” “It looks like it will give you a lifetime immunity against all the major flu strains. I like it.”

Currently, 40 million Americans contract the influenza virus each year, with close to one million being hospitalized during the 2015-2016 flu season, according to data from The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The flu molecule is changing all the time. So every year we are like shooting at a target that’s infecting people in South America or infecting people in Australia or Asia and then we say ‘will that be the prevalent strain here?’ We only end up with a 40% or 60% success rate at cutting down at the severity of flu with the current vaccine,” said Siegel.

The new vaccine looks at the four most important genes on the four predominant strains—called ancient flu strains—Siegel said, adding that it may not make you sick.