As the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic approaches, scientists focus their efforts on developing a universal flu vaccine. Seth Berkley warns that luck is currently the only thing preventing a devastating pandemic. Google is backing a UK universal flu vaccine candidate, and American and Chinese scientists are exploring a new method of developing flu vaccines. Meanwhile, the New York Times reminds us why getting the seasonal flu vaccine is so important.
Elsewhere in research, Panacea Biotech and the Serum Institute partner to produce a novel 6-in-1 vaccine, and research into a fresh approach to the tuberculosis vaccine yields promising results. However, Laurie Garrett argues that a new approach is required to keep the pharmaceutical pipeline going for vaccines.
In India, vaccination rates have fallen amongst the wealthiest fifth, and debate continues around whether to introduce the HPV vaccine. In neighbouring Pakistan anti-vaccine sentiment took a nastier turn, with two polio vaccinators killed by gunmen during vaccination drives launched in the country this week.