Stronger flu vaccines may be on their way to Australia, if the Turnbull Government succeeds in its renewed research efforts. The announcement is courtesy of Australia’s Brendan Murphy, who said the country is amping up its vaccine research following the recent flu season.
According to ABC Australia, the flu season this year has been particularly deadly, as it had killed 546 people all over the country in 2017. Murphy, also Australia’s head honcho when it comes to medicine, said the offices are fast-tracking the process of developing a stronger vaccine.
This is especially for the early, as the median age for the flu victims is 85 years old.
Stronger Flu Vaccines: One of Two
However, it’s not as if the government is grasping for straws. There are actually currently two flu vaccines that are already made to target the elderly and avoid the deadlier effects of flu. Unfortunately, they haven’t been made part of Australia’s free vaccination program.
It can be remembered that this program has been made for “vulnerable” groups, which includes people over the age of 65.
As per ABC, one of the vaccines contains a higher dosage than the standard flu vaccine. The other is what is called the adjuvanted vaccine, which is capable of boosting our immune response to the flu.
Murphy said the National Immunisation Program (NIP) cannot use the vaccines now. This is because the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee is required by law to recommend vaccines first before they become part of the NIP.
Meanwhile, Paul van Buynder of the Immunisation Coalition said doctors still treated patients with flu despite their vaccinations. This is because there was what appears to be a “mismatch” between the actual strain and the vaccine strain.
If this happens, the vaccine wouldn’t work as efficiently as it’s made to resist a strain that it couldn’t detect. This is what allowed vaccinated patients to contract the flu.