January 28, 2020 (Medical Daily)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this flu season has already taken the lives of nearly 40 children nationwide and over 13 million cases of the flu have so far been reported. Despite this, less than half of Americans received a flu shot this season.
An oral flu vaccine is now under development and while it may take at least five years until it becomes available for public use, researchers believe the pill will be “just as effective as an injectable flu shot at preventing” against the influenza virus (H1N1).
The Lancet recently published a study about the progress of this oral pill – it works by “utilizing a non-spreading adenovirus to carry the flu protein” and according to the study, just one dose of oral pill showed significant protection against H1.
Something that current flu shots do not possess that this oral pill does is an added mechanism of action that creates antibodies which could help fight influenza locally in body tissues.
With such promising study results, scientists hope that this pill will encourage more people to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the potentially deadly virus.
Furthermore, this pill could have a major impact on improving global vaccination rates due to a number of factors including, the comfort of a pill versus an injectable vaccine, ease of administration and faster distribution.