Flu’s days could be numbered after scientists revealed they are getting closer to developing a vaccine that gives life-long protection against all types of flu. Currently vaccinations have to be given each year as conventional flu jabs target molecules on the surface of the virus which constantly change. The Holy Grail is to be able to target the stable part of the virus. Many research teams have tried but it is technically challenging to come up with a vaccine without involving the mutating part. Now two separate teams in the US believe they have made a breakthrough and have published their proof of concept findings. Prof John Oxford, a flu expert at the University of London (with a name like shouldn’t he be at Oxford?) likes what he sees. He said the results are a “red letter day for science…a leap forward compared to anything done recently… and they’ve done it with the bird flu virus H5N1”. He added “It’s a very good stepping stone. Ultimately, the hope is to get a vaccine that will cover a pandemic virus.” Prof Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at University of Oxford, said “This is an exciting development, but the new vaccines now need to be tested in clinical trials to see how well they work in humans.” Let’s hope they crack it as if they do it could be goodbye to annual flu jabs.