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Friday, December 6, 2013
I am one of those people that are in the high risk of getting problems from the flu. I get a flu shot every year. Would the flu shot protect me from the pandemic or would they create a new one just for the type of flu during the pandemic?
It is unlikely that an annual flu shot would protect you from pandemic flu. Researchers are working on creating a flu shot specifically for the pandemic flu. One of the problems with creating a pandemic flu shot is that the pandemic flu virus may have to mutate (change) in order to be able to infect a lot of people and cause a pandemic. Researchers are not sure exactly what the surface antigens of a flu virus that can cause a pandemic will look like. They hope that the flu shot they create will at least make the pandemic flu illness less severe.
John Andrews, MD, MPH
Assistant Senior Vice President Medical Center
Director University Health Services
University of Cincinnati