Flu shot that lasts 20 years gets closer to reality - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Flu shot that lasts 20 years gets closer to reality

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

A flu shot that protects you for at least 20 years?! In the middle of a flu epidemic, that sounds like a great idea.

However, it may also sound too good to be true and, right now, it is, but scientists are working to make it a reality.

"[He was] miserable, spiking fevers up and down,” said Katie Sands, mother of three.

Sands says her four year old had the flu for a week.

"Wish I could take the pain away from them and hold them and be sick for them,” Sands said.

She says if it were possible to take away their pain from the flu for years to come, she's willing to give it a try.

"I would definitely try attempting to do that,” Sands said.

Scientists at Mount Sinai Health Systems say what's being called a universal shot would target the part of the flu virus that does not change from year to year, lessening the chance that it won't work.

But not all moms buy that concept.

“I would first ask if it had future risks or side effects. I probably wouldn't trust that they would have had enough time to really know what exactly the vaccine would cause long term,” said Christine Archer from Fredericktown.

"You could see a reduction, possibly, in the number of cases of flu if it truly is affective,” Jane Wernsman with the Cape Girardeau County Health Department said.

Wernsman says the scientists have only recently announced they're doing the studies.

"There's no data there that we've been able to access to review any kind of outcomes,” Wernsman said.

In the meantime, moms like Katie Sands are being extra careful too.

"Lysoling, wiping down everything I can, washing hands, using hand sanitizer,” Sands said.

The universal flu shot goes into clinical trials later this year.

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